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Cryobiology. 2004 Jun;48(3):283-94.

Thermal properties of ethylene glycol aqueous solutions.

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CRTBT, CNRS, BP 166, 38042 Grenoble, Cedex 9, France.


Preventing ice crystallization by transforming liquids into an amorphous state, vitrification can be considered as the most suitable technique allowing complex tissues, and organs cryopreservation. This process requires the use of rapid cooling rates in the presence of cryoprotective solutions highly concentrated in antifreeze compounds, such as polyalcohols. Many of them have already been intensively studied. Their glass forming tendency and the stability of their amorphous state would make vitrification a reality if their biological toxicity did not reduce their usable concentrations often below the concentrations necessary to vitrify organs under achievable thermal conditions. Fortunately, it has been shown that mixtures of cryoprotectants tend to reduce the global toxicity of cryoprotective solutions and various efficient combinations have been proposed containing ethanediol. This work reports on the thermal properties of aqueous solutions with 40, 43, 45, 48, and 50% (w/w) of this compound measured by differential scanning calorimetry. The glass forming tendency and the stability of the amorphous state are evaluated as a function of concentration. They are given by the critical cooling rates v(ccr)above which ice crystallization is avoided, and the critical warming rates v(cwr) necessary to prevent ice crystallization in the supercooled liquid state during rewarming. Those critical rates are calculated using the same semi-empirical model as previously. This work shows a strong decrease of averaged critical cooling and warming rates when ethanediol concentration increases, V(ccr) and V(cwr) = 1.08 x 10 (10) K/min for 40% (w/w) whereas V(ccr) = 11 and V(cwr) = 853 K/min for 50% (w/w). Those results are compared with the corresponding properties of other dialcohols obtained by the same method. Ethylene glycol efficiency is between those of 1,2-propanediol and 1,3-propanediol.

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