Large Ice Crystals in the Nucleus of Rapidly Frozen Liver Cells

J. C. Bischof, B. Rubinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Evidence in the literature shows that ice crystals that form in the nucleus of many rapidly cooled cells appear much larger than the ice crystals that form in the surrounding cytoplasm. We investigated the phenomenon in our laboratory using the techniques of freeze substitution and low temperature scanning electron microscopy on liver tissue frozen by liquid nitrogen plunge freezing. This method is estimated to cool the tissue at 1000°C/min. The results from these techniques show that the ice crystal sizes were statistically significantly larger in the nucleus than in the cytoplasm. It is our belief that this finding is important to cryobiology considering its potential role in the process of freezing and the mechanisms of damage during freezing of cells and tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-603
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes


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