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Biotechnol J. 2014 Jul;9(7):895-903. doi: 10.1002/biot.201300074.

Preserving human cells for regenerative, reproductive, and transfusion medicine.

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Bio-Acoustic-MEMS in Medicine (BAMM) Laboratories, Department of Radiology, Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.


Cell cryopreservation maintains cellular life at sub-zero temperatures by slowing down biochemical processes. Various cell types are routinely cryopreserved in modern reproductive, regenerative, and transfusion medicine. Current cell cryopreservation methods involve freezing (slow/rapid) or vitrifying cells in the presence of a cryoprotective agent (CPA). Although these methods are clinically utilized, cryo-injury due to ice crystals, osmotic shock, and CPA toxicity cause loss of cell viability and function. Recent approaches using minimum volume vitrification provide alternatives to the conventional cryopreservation methods. Minimum volume vitrification provides ultra-high cooling and rewarming rates that enable preserving cells without ice crystal formation. Herein, we review recent advances in cell cryopreservation technology and provide examples of techniques that are utilized in oocyte, stem cell, and red blood cell cryopreservation.


Cryopreservation; Regenerative medicine; Reproductive medicine; Transfusion medicine; Vitrification

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