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Biomed Mater. 2006 Mar;1(1):R18-29. doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/1/1/R03. Epub 2006 Mar 21.

Non-frozen preservation of mammalian tissue using green tea polyphenolic compounds.

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Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 53 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


The number of tissue or organ transplants has increased substantially in recent years with the advances in surgical methods and the development of immunosuppressive agents. Ideally, tissues should be transplanted immediately from the donor to the recipient. However, this is not always possible, and the problem of tissue preservation is very important for ensuring a successful transplantation. Therefore, it is essential to develop storage solutions that can maintain the viability and function of the tissues or organs for longer periods. Recent improvements in tissue and organ harvesting techniques and cryopreservation have made it possible to store various kinds of allografts and subsequently use these grafts as alternatives for supply-limited autografts. Moreover, tissue engineering techniques and regenerative medicine have been explored as a potential method to restore natural tissue and repair lesions. Nevertheless, no optimal method for the cryopreservation of mammalian tissues or organs as well as tissue engineered products has been established. Also, current methods can result in a substantial loss of function and lead to damage and destruction of the cells and tissues. Green tea polyphenolic compounds (GTPC) are well known as a functional food with various bioactivities, such as anti-oxidative, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-viral activities. However, less attention has been paid to the effects of GTPC on the non-frozen preservation of mammalian cells and blood vessels. Furthermore, the mechanism of this preservation effect of GTPC is not clearly understood. This review was written on the basis of the hypothesis that the non-frozen preservation of mammalian cells or tissues might be involved in cell cycle control through the cytostatic activity of GTPC.

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