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Cryobiology. 2001 Sep;43(2):89-105.

The trehalose myth revisited: introduction to a symposium on stabilization of cells in the dry state.

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Biostabilization Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


This essay is an introduction to a series of papers arising from a symposium on stabilization of cells in the dry state. Nearly all of these investigations have utilized the sugar trehalose as a stabilizing molecule. Over the past two decades a myth has grown up about special properties of trehalose for stabilization of biomaterials. We review many of such uses here and show that under ideal conditions for drying and storage trehalose has few, if any, special properties. However, under suboptimal conditions trehalose has some distinct advantages and thus may remain the preferred excipient. We review the available mechanisms for introducing trehalose into the cytoplasm of living cells as an introduction to the papers that follow.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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