Previous studies have demonstrated that ice/cell interaction influences post thaw viability and specific cryoprotective agents can affect those interactions. Trehalose, a disaccharide, has been shown to have a protective benefit during conventional slow freezing. Existing theories have been put forth to explain the protective benefit of trehalose during desiccation and vitrification, but these theories do not explain the protective benefit observed during conventional freezing protocols. The overall objective of this investigation was to characterize cell/ice interactions in the presence of trehalose using non-planar freezing conditions. To that end, lymphoblasts suspended in phosphate buffered saline solution with various levels of trehalose (0, 10, 100, and 300 mM) were frozen on a directional solidification stage. The partitioning of cells into the interdendritic space or engulfment by an advancing dendrite was determined as a function of velocity and solution composition. For a given temperature gradient, the fraction of cells entrapped into the interdendritic region increased with increasing velocity. With small additions of trehalose (10 mM), the velocity at which cells were entrapped in the interdendritic region increased. At high trehalose concentrations (100, 300 mM), interface morphology was significantly different and cells were engulfed by the advancing interface. Dehydration of cells in the region shortly before and after the interface was significant and depended upon of the type of interaction experienced by the cell (entrapped vs. engulfed). These studies suggest that one potential mechanism for the action of trehalose involves changing the ice/cell interactions during conventional slow freezing.
- Cell partitioning
- Ice front