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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Jun;74(6):2589-93.

Adsorption inhibition as a mechanism of freezing resistance in polar fishes.


Polar fishes are known to have serum proteins and glycoproteins that protect them from freezing, by a noncolligative process. Measurements of antifreeze concentrations in ice and scanning electron micrographs of freeze-dried antifreeze solutions indicate that the antifreezes are incorporated in ice during freezing. The antifreezes also have a pronounced effect on the crystal habit of ice grown in their presence. Each of four antifreezes investigated caused ice to grow in long needles whose axes were parallel to the ice c axis. Together these results indicate the antifreezes adsorb to ice surfaces and inhibit their growth. A model in which adsorbed antifreezes raise the curvature of growth steps on the ice surface is proposed to account for the observed depression of the temperature at which freezing occurs and agrees well with experimental observations. The model is similar to one previously proposed for other cases of crystal growth inhibition.

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