Viability of deformed cells.


Type of article: Article


Most researchers in the field of cryobiology believe that the mechanism of damage during freezing with low cooling rates is chemical and related to the hypertonicity of the extracellular solution. However, there is some evidence to indicate that cells may be destroyed during freezing also by compression between ice crystals. An experimental procedure was developed to study the effect of cell compression on viability. Using human prostate primary adenoma cancer cells, it was shown that cell viability decreases steeply when cells are compressed to 30% of their original diameter. If uniform expansion of cell membrane is assumed, this corresponds to a 50% increase in the cell membrane surface area. A simple mathematical model shows that the temperature at which the compression effect may cause cell damage is related to the spacing between ice crystals. When the ice crystals are spaced at distances comparable to the cell diameter model combined with the authors' experimental data predicts compression damage at about -1.8 °C.


  • Original title: Viability of deformed cells.
  • Record ID : 2001-0550
  • Languages: English
  • Source: Cryobiology - vol. 39 - n. 3
  • Publication date: 1999/11


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