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Reanimation of Myocardial Cells preserved in the Frozen State



AFTER the discovery in 1949 of the protective action of glycerol against damage arising from freezing and thawing of spermatozoa1, many investigators have succeeded in freezing different cell types, for example, erythrocytes2,3 and lymphocytes, and cultured tissues with a considerable degree of survival. For certain cell types dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) acts as a better cryoprotective substance than glycerol4,5. It has not yet been possible, however, to obtain satisfactory results in the low-temperature preservation of myocardial cells. In a recent publication6 it was stated that 80 to 90 per cent of the myocardial cells in suspension were lysed during freezing; only 5 to 20 per cent of the surviving cells manifested spontaneous beating. We now describe a method for preserving myocardial cells at − 196° C, with a high degree of recovery after thawing.

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  1. 1

    Polge, C., Smith, A. U., and Parkes, A. S., Nature, 164, 666 (1949).

  2. 2

    Smith, A. U., Lancet, ii, 910 (1950).

  3. 3

    Krijnen, H. W., Kuivenhoven, A. C. J., and de Wit, J. J. F. M., Cryobiology, 5, 136 (1968).

  4. 4

    Lovelock, J. E., and Bishop, M. W. H., Nature, 183, 1394 (1959).

  5. 5

    Gross, W. O., Z. Naturforschung, 23b, 512 (1968).

  6. 6

    Schöpf-Ebener, E., Gross, W. O., and Bucher, O. M., Cryobiology, 4, 200 (1968).

  7. 7

    Harary, I., and Farley, B., Exp. Cell. Res., 29, 451 (1963).

  8. 8

    Harary, I., and Slater, E. C., Biochim. Biophys. Act., 99, 227 (1965).

  9. 9

    Kroon, A. M., and Jansen, R. J., Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 155, 629 (1968).

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