Cryopreservation of spin-dried mammalian cells

Nilay Chakraborty, Shriners Hospitals for Children
Michael A. Menze, Eastern Illinois University
Jason Malsam, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Alptekin Aksan, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Steven C. Hand, Louisiana State University
Mehmet Toner, Shriners Hospitals for Children


This study reports an alternative approach to achieve vitrification where cells are pre-desiccated prior to cooling to cryogenic temperatures for storage. Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells suspended in a trehalose solution were rapidly and uniformly desiccated to a low moisture content (<0.12 g of water per g of dry weight) using a spin-drying technique. Trehalose was also introduced into the cells using a high-capacity trehalose transporter (TRET1). Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to examine the uniformity of water concentration distribution in the spin-dried samples. 62% of the cells were shown to survive spin-drying in the presence of trehalose following immediate rehydration. The spin-dried samples were stored in liquid nitrogen (LN 2) at a vitrified state. It was shown that following re-warming to room temperature and re-hydration with a fully complemented cell culture medium, 51% of the spin-dried and vitrified cells survived and demonstrated normal growth characteristics. Spin-drying is a novel strategy that can be used to improve cryopreservation outcome by promoting rapid vitrification. © 2011 Chakraborty et al.