Tissue Freezing and Recovery Overview

Cryopreservation is a process where living biological materials (e.g., cells, tissues) can be preserved for extended periods of the time in state of suspended animation for later use in surgeries and research. Cryopreservation allows to slow down cell metabolism to complete stop therefore preventing tissue starvation and death without adequate nutrition, blood, and oxygen supply. Cryopreservation is achieved by controlled cooling of tissues to very low temperatures in the presence of specific cryopreservation media that protects the biological material from damage by ice crystals during freezing. Prior to use in surgeries tissues have to be recovered from frozen state by controlled process of thawing that includes complete removal of toxic preservatives used in freezing media. After successful thawing tissues are required to be maintained in optimal conditions until they are used in surgeries. While this not a problem for single cell suspensions, cryopreservation and efficient revival of sheets or layers of tissues and three-dimensional tissue constructs, is inefficient and requires much higher level of control to retain tissue viability after thawing. Layers of tissue and three-dimensional tissue constructs can suffer damage from tensional stresses experienced during expansion and contractions that occurs during freezing and thawing. Additionally, uneven physical changes within the tissue during cooling or warming can also cause damage to the tissue. Furthermore, conventional cryopreservation media can be toxic to the tissues in a non-frozen state and can render the tissues not suitable for later recovery, culturing, and clinical use.

Technology: The invention describes a cryopreservation and cell recovery system designed specifically for the cryopreservation, transportation, and subsequent thawing of cell monolayers and tissues (mature or immature or progenitor tissue) on a substrate in an efficient manner without additional extensive training of personnel or the need for a specialized equipment. This closed cryopreservation/defrost system allows for sterility in addition to increased viability, recovery, and safety of tissues that can be used for in-vitro culture or surgical transplantation.

Competitive Advantage: Current Cryopreservation containers are less successful with confluent cells and need large volume of toxic cryopreservation media which hampers subsequent cell recovery and culturing. A cryopreservation/defrost system that uses minimal volume of cryopreservation media and conducts automated cell thawing and recovery for cell monolayers and 3D tissues can be useful in many clinical applications.


Intellectual Property: U.S. Provisional Application filed. Technology available for codevelopment, non-exclusive/exclusive license consideration (E-094-2016)

Inventors: Vladimir Khristov, Arvydas Maminishkis, Kapil Bharti


Mala Dutta, Ph.D.
Office of Translational Research
Last updated: May 18, 2020