Biphasic investigation of tissue mechanical response during freezing front propagation.
ABSTRACT: Cryopreservation of engineered tissue (ET) has achieved limited success due to limited understanding of freezing-induced biophysical phenomena in ETs, especially fluid-matrix interaction within ETs. To further our understanding of the freezing-induced fluid-matrix interaction, we have developed a biphasic model formulation that simulates the transient heat transfer and volumetric expansion during freezing, its resulting fluid movement in the ET, elastic deformation of the solid matrix, and the corresponding pressure redistribution within. Treated as a biphasic material, the ET consists of a porous solid matrix fully saturated with interstitial fluid. Temperature-dependent material properties were employed, and phase change was included by incorporating the latent heat of phase change into an effective specific heat term. Model-predicted temperature distribution, the location of the moving freezing front, and the ET deformation rates through the time course compare reasonably well with experiments reported previously. Results from our theoretical model show that behind the marching freezing front, the ET undergoes expansion due to phase change of its fluid contents. It compresses the region preceding the freezing front leading to its fluid expulsion and reduced regional fluid volume fractions. The expelled fluid is forced forward and upward into the region further ahead of the compression zone causing a secondary expansion zone, which then compresses the region further downstream with much reduced intensity. Overall, it forms an alternating expansion-compression pattern, which moves with the marching freezing front. The present biphasic model helps us to gain insights into some facets of the freezing process and cryopreservation treatment that could not be gleaned experimentally. Its resulting understanding will ultimately be useful to design and improve cryopreservation protocols for ETs.
Project description:Successful cryopreservation of functional engineered tissues (ETs) is significant to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, but it is extremely challenging to develop a successful protocol because the effects of cryopreservation parameters on the post-thaw functionality of ETs are not well understood. Particularly, the effects on the microstructure of their extracellular matrix (ECM) have not been well studied, which determines many functional properties of the ETs. In this study, we investigated the effects of two key cryopreservation parameters--(i) freezing temperature and corresponding cooling rate; and (ii) the concentration of cryoprotective agent (CPA) on the ECM microstructure as well as the cellular viability. Using dermal equivalent as a model ET and DMSO as a model CPA, freezing-induced spatiotemporal deformation and post-thaw ECM microstructure of ETs was characterized while varying the freezing temperature and DMSO concentrations. The spatial distribution of cellular viability and the cellular actin cytoskeleton was also examined. The results showed that the tissue dilatation increased significantly with reduced freezing temperature (i.e., rapid freezing). A maximum limit of tissue deformation was observed for preservation of ECM microstructure, cell viability and cell-matrix adhesion. The dilatation decreased with the use of DMSO, and a freezing temperature dependent threshold concentration of DMSO was observed. The threshold DMSO concentration increased with lowering freezing temperature. In addition, an analysis was performed to delineate thermodynamic and mechanical components of freezing-induced tissue deformation. The results are discussed to establish a mechanistic understanding of freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interaction and phase change behavior within ETs in order to improve cryopreservation of ETs.
Project description:The two most significant challenges for successful cryopreservation of engineered tissues (ETs) are preserving tissue functionality and controlling highly tissue-type dependent preservation outcomes. In order to address these challenges, freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interactions should be understood, which determine the post-thaw cell viability and extracellular matrix (ECM) microstructure. However, the current understanding of this tissue-level biophysical interaction is still limited. In this study, freezing-induced cell-fluid-matrix interactions and their impact on the cells and ECM microstructure of ETs were investigated using dermal equivalents as a model ET. The dermal equivalents were constructed by seeding human dermal fibroblasts in type I collagen matrices with varying cell seeding density and collagen concentration. While these dermal equivalents underwent an identical freeze/thaw condition, their spatiotemporal deformation during freezing, post-thaw ECM microstructure, and cellular level cryoresponse were characterized. The results showed that the extent and characteristics of freezing-induced deformation were significantly different among the experimental groups, and the ETs with denser ECM microstructure experienced a larger deformation. The magnitude of the deformation was well correlated to the post-thaw ECM structure, suggesting that the freezing-induced deformation is a good indicator of post-thaw ECM structure. A significant difference in the extent of cellular injury was also noted among the experimental groups, and it depended on the extent of freezing-induced deformation of the ETs and the initial cytoskeleton organization. These results suggest that the cells have been subjected to mechanical insult due to the freezing-induced deformation as well as thermal insult. These findings provide insight on tissue-type dependent cryopreservation outcomes, and can help to design and modify cryopreservation protocols for new types of tissues from a pre-developed cryopreservation protocol.
Project description:Ice formation in living cells is a lethal event during freezing and its characterization is important to the development of optimal protocols for not only cryopreservation but also cryotherapy applications. Although the model for probability of ice formation (PIF) in cells developed by Toner et al. has been widely used to predict nucleation-limited intracellular ice formation (IIF), our data of freezing Hela cells suggest that this model could give misleading prediction of PIF when the maximum PIF in cells during freezing is less than 1 (PIF ranges from 0 to 1). We introduce a new model to overcome this problem by incorporating a critical cell volume to modify the Toner's original model. We further reveal that this critical cell volume is dependent on the mechanisms of ice nucleation in cells during freezing, i.e., surface-catalyzed nucleation (SCN) and volume-catalyzed nucleation (VCN). Taken together, the improved PIF model may be valuable for better understanding of the mechanisms of ice nucleation in cells during freezing and more accurate prediction of PIF for cryopreservation and cryotherapy applications.
Project description:Vitrification and slow-freezing methods have been used for the cryopreservation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Vitrification requires considerable skill and post-thaw recovery is low. Furthermore, it is not suitable for cryopreservation of large numbers of hPSCs. While slow-freezing methods for hPSCs are easy to perform, they are usually preceded by a complicated cell dissociation process that yields poor post-thaw survival. To develop a robust and easy slow-freezing method for hPSCs, several different cryopreservation cocktails were prepared by modifying a commercially available freezing medium (CP-1™) containing hydroxyethyl starch (HES), and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in saline. The new freezing media were examined for their cryopreservation efficacy in combination with several different cell detachment methods. hPSCs in cryopreservation medium were slowly cooled in a conventional -80°C freezer and thawed rapidly. hPSC colonies were dissociated with several proteases. Ten percent of the colonies were passaged without cryopreservation and another 10% were cryopreserved, and then the recovery ratio was determined by comparing the number of Alkaline Phosphatase-positive colonies after thawing at day 5 with those passaged without cryopreservation at day 5. We found that cell detachment with Pronase/EDTA followed by cryopreservation using 6% HES, 5% DMSO, and 5% ethylene glycol (EG) in saline (termed CP-5E) achieved post-thaw recoveries over 80%. In summary, we have developed a new cryopreservation medium free of animal products for slow-freezing. This easy and robust cryopreservation method could be used widely for basic research and for clinical application.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cryopreservation is the only widely applicable method of storing vital cells for nearly unlimited periods of time. Successful cryopreservation is essential for reproductive medicine, stem cell research, cord blood storage and related biomedical areas. The methods currently used to retrieve a specific cell or a group of individual cells with specific biological properties after cryopreservation are quite complicated and inefficient. RESULTS: The present study suggests a new approach in cryopreservation, utilizing the Individual Cell-based Cryo-Chip (i3C). The i3C is made of materials having appropriate durability for cryopreservation conditions. The core of this approach is an array of picowells, each picowell designed to maintain an individual cell during the severe conditions of the freezing--thawing cycle and accompanying treatments. More than 97% of cells were found to retain their position in the picowells throughout the entire freezing--thawing cycle and medium exchange. Thus the comparison between pre-freezing and post-thawing data can be achieved at an individual cell resolution. The intactness of cells undergoing slow freezing and thawing, while residing in the i3C, was found to be similar to that obtained with micro-vials. However, in a fast freezing protocol, the i3C was found to be far superior. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study offer new opportunities for cryopreservation. Using the present methodology, the cryopreservation of individual identifiable cells, and their observation and retrieval, at an individual cell resolution become possible for the first time. This approach facilitates the correlation between cell characteristics before and after the freezing--thawing cycle. Thus, it is expected to significantly enhance current cryopreservation procedures for successful regenerative and reproductive medicine.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cryopreservation of leukocytes isolated from the cervicovaginal and colorectal mucosa is useful for the study of cellular immunity (see Hughes SM et al. PLOS ONE 2016). However, some questions about mucosal biology and sexually transmitted infections are better addressed with intact mucosal tissue, for which there is no standard cryopreservation protocol. METHODS AND FINDINGS:To find an optimal preservation protocol for mucosal tissues, we tested slow cooling (1°C/min) with 10% dimethylsulfoxide (designated "cryopreservation") and fast cooling (plunge in liquid nitrogen) with 20% dimethylsulfoxide and 20% ethylene glycol ("vitrification"). We compared fresh and preserved human cervicovaginal and colorectal tissues in a range of assays, including metabolic activity, human immunodeficiency virus infection, cell phenotype, tissue structure by hematoxylin-and-eosin staining, cell number and viability, production of cytokines, and microbicide drug concentrations. Metabolic activity, HIV infectability, and tissue structure were similar in cryopreserved and vitrified vaginal tissues. However, vitrification led to poor cell recovery from the colorectal mucosa, with 90% fewer cells recovered after isolation from vitrified colorectal tissues than from cryopreserved. HIV infection rates were similar for fresh and cryopreserved ectocervical tissues, whereas cryopreserved colorectal tissues were less easily infected than fresh tissues (hazard ratio 0.7 [95% confidence interval 0.4, 1.2]). Finally, we compared isolation of cells before and after cryopreservation. Cell recoveries were higher when cells were isolated after freezing and thawing (71% [59-84%]) than before (50% [38-62%]). Cellular function was similar to fresh tissue in both cases. Microbicide drug concentrations were lower in cryopreserved explants compared to fresh ones. CONCLUSIONS:Cryopreservation of intact cervicovaginal and colorectal tissues with dimethylsulfoxide works well in a range of assays, while the utility of vitrification is more limited. Cell yields are higher from cryopreserved intact tissue pieces than from thawed cryopreserved single cell suspensions isolated before freezing, but T cell functions are similar.
Project description:Sperm cryopreservation is an important tool for storing genetic traits and assisted reproduction techniques. Several studies have developed semen cryopreservation protocols. However, the sperm proteome is different between ejaculated and epididymal spermatozoa and little is known about cryopreservation effects on epididymal spermatozoa. Therefore, our study aimed to (i) investigate the differences of sperm parameters based on the freezing tolerance of spermatozoa and (ii) identify potential markers to predict the freezability of bull epididymal spermatozoa. Our preliminary study demonstrated that spermatozoa from individual bulls differ in cryopreservation freezability. We categorized spermatozoa into high freezing-tolerant spermatozoa and low freezing-tolerant spermatozoa group based on sperm motility after freezing/thawing. We evaluated several sperm functional parameters, including sperm motility/motion kinematics, sperm speed parameters, viability, mitochondrial activity, and capacitation status. Our results demonstrated that motility, sperm speed parameters, viability, and mitochondrial membrane potential had significant differences between the two groups but motion kinematics and capacitation status did not. In addition, the concentration of three proteins - glutathione s-transferase mu 5, voltage-dependent anion-selective channel protein 2, and ATP synthase subunit beta, differed between both groups. Thus, our research highlighted differences in bull epididymal spermatozoa freezability upon cryopreservation and these proteins might be useful markers to select high freezing-tolerant epididymal spermatozoa.
Project description:Clinical applications of oocytes cryopreservation include preservation of future fertility of young cancer patients, substitution of embryo freezing to avoid associated legal and ethical issues, and delaying childbearing years. While the outcome of oocyte cryopreservation has recently been improved, currently used vitrification method still suffer from increased biosafety risk and handling issues while slow freezing techniques yield overall low success. Understanding better the mechanism of cryopreservation-induced injuries may lead to development of more reliable and safe methods for oocyte cryopreservation. Using the mouse model, a microarray study was conducted on oocyte cryopreservation to identify cryoinjuries to transcriptionally active genome. To this end, metaphase II (MII) oocytes were subjected to standard slow freezing, and then analyzed at the four-cell stage after embryonic genome activation. Non-frozen four-cell embryos served as controls. Differentially expressed genes were identified and validated using RT-PCR. Embryos produced from the cryopreserved oocytes displayed 200 upregulated and 105 downregulated genes, associated with the regulation of mitochondrial function, protein ubiquitination and maintenance, cellular response to stress and oxidative states, fatty acid and lipid regulation/metabolism, and cell cycle maintenance. These findings reveal previously unrecognized effects of standard slow oocyte freezing on embryonic gene expression, which can be used to guide improvement of oocyte cryopreservation methods.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have huge potential for establishment of disease models and for treating degenerative diseases. However, the extremely low survival level of dissociated hESCs following cryopreservation is been a tremendous problem to allow for their rapid expansion, genetic manipulation and future medical applications. In this study, we have aimed to develop an efficient strategy to improve survival of dissociated hESCs after cryopreservation. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Human embryonic stem cells (H9 line), dissociated into single cells, were cryopreserved using the slow-freezing method. Viable cells and their colony numbers in culture after cryopreservation were evaluated when treated with protein kinase A inhibitor H89. Western blotting was carried out to investigate mechanisms of low survival levels of dissociated hESCs following cryopreservation. Immunofluorescence, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), in vitro and in vivo differentiation were performed to testify to pluripotency and differentiation ability of hte cryopreserved cells treated with H89. RESULTS:H89 significantly improved survival level of dissociated hESCs after cryopreservation through ROCK inhibition. H89-treated cells still maintained their pluripotency and differentiation capacity. CONCLUSIONS:This new approach for cryopreservation of single hESCs, using H89, can promote potential use of hESCs in regenerative medicine in the future.
Project description:Development of techniques to isolate, culture, and transplant human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) has the future potential to treat male infertility. To maximize the efficiency of these techniques, methods for SSC cryopreservation need to be developed to bank SSCs for extended periods of time. Although, it has been demonstrated that SSCs can reinitiate spermatogenesis after freezing, optimal cryopreservation protocols that maximize SSC proliferative capacity post-thaw have not been identified. The objective of this study was to develop an efficient cryopreservation technique for preservation of SSCs. To identify efficient cryopreservation methods for long-term preservation of SSCs, isolated testis cells enriched for SSCs were placed in medium containing dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or DMSO and trehalose (50 mM, 100 mM, or 200 mM), and frozen in liquid nitrogen for 1 week, 1 month, or 3 months. Freezing in 50 mM trehalose resulted in significantly higher cell viability compared to DMSO at all thawing times and a higher proliferation rate compared to DMSO for the 1 week freezing period. Freezing in 200 mM trehalose did not result in increased cell viability; however, proliferation activity was significantly higher and percentage of apoptotic cells was significantly lower compared to DMSO after freezing for 1 and 3 months. To confirm the functionality of SSCs frozen in 200 mM trehalose, SSC transplantation was performed. Donor SSCs formed spermatogenic colonies and sperm capable of generating normal progeny. Collectively, these results indicate that freezing in DMSO with 200 mM trehalose serves as an efficient method for the cryopreservation of SSCs.