An experimental technique, employing a directional solidification stage for controlled freezing of tissue samples and low-temperature scanning electron microscopy for observation of the structure of the frozen-hydrated samples, was used to study freezing processes in the kidney. Parametric studies in which the cooling rate during freezing and the concentration of glycerol in the tissue were varied confirmed the results of earlier freeze-substitution studies. The results suggest a mechanism for ice propagation in the kidney similar to that already proposed for the liver, in which ice originates in, and is subsequently propagated through, the peritubular vasculature. The ice front dehydrates the cells and tubular structures encountered in its path, thus preventing intraluminal freezing. At higher rates of cooling and increased concentrations of glycerol there is less dehydration of cortical structure and intraluminal freezing occurs.