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Cryobiology. 2014 Jun;68(3):411-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

Recombinant Dendroides canadensis antifreeze proteins as potential ingredients in cryopreservation solutions.

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  • 1Cell & Tissue Systems, Inc., N. Charleston, SC 29406, USA. Electronic address:
  • 2Cell & Tissue Systems, Inc., N. Charleston, SC 29406, USA; Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA; Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.
  • 3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.
  • 4Cell & Tissue Systems, Inc., N. Charleston, SC 29406, USA.


Expanding cryopreservation methods to include a wider range of cell types, such as those sensitive to freezing, is needed for maintaining the viability of cell-based regenerative medicine products. Conventional cryopreservation protocols, which include use of cryoprotectants such as dimethylsulfoxide (Me2SO), have not prevented ice-induced damage to cell and tissue matrices during freezing. A family of antifreeze proteins (AFPs) produced in the larvae of the beetle, Dendroides canadensis allow this insect to survive subzero temperatures as low as -26°C. This study is an assessment of the effect of the four hemolymph D. canadensis AFPs (DAFPs) on the supercooling (nucleating) temperature, ice structure patterns and viability of the A10 cell line derived from the thoracic aorta of embryonic rat. Cryoprotectant solution cocktails containing combinations of DAFPs in concentrations ranging from 0 to 3mg/mL in Unisol base mixed with 1M Me2SO were first evaluated by cryomicroscopy. Combining multiple DAFPs demonstrated significant supercooling point depressing activity (∼9°C) when compared to single DAFPs and/or conventional 1M Me2SO control solutions. Concentrations of DAFPs as low as 1 μg/mL were sufficient to trigger this effect. In addition, significantly improved A10 smooth muscle cell viability was observed in cryopreservation experiments with low DAFP-6 and DAFP-2 concentrations in combination with Me2SO. No significant improvement in viability was observed with either DAFP-1 or DAFP-4. Low and effective DAFP concentrations are advantageous because they minimize concerns regarding cell cytotoxicity and manufacturing cost. These findings support the potential of incorporating DAFPs in solutions used to cryopreserve cells and tissues.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Antifreeze proteins; Cryomicroscopy; Cryopreservation; Cryoprotectants; Dendroides canadensis; Ice-free cryopreservation; Recrystallization; Subzero storage; Supercooling; Thermal hysteresis

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