Letter | Published:

Is there a Common Mechanism of Protection of Living Cells by Polyvinylpyrrolidone and Glycerol during Freezing?

Nature volume 222, pages 11751176 (21 June 1969) | Download Citation

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Abstract

IN 1953 Lovelock showed that the damage caused to human red blood cells by freezing and thawing could be correlated with the high concentrations of sodium chloride produced in the liquid phase as ice forms1. Subsequent work showed that the actions of glycerol in protecting cells against damage during freezing2 were probably associated with “buffering” the concentrations of salt, for haemolysis first takes place during freezing at a temperature at which a mole fraction of sodium chloride of 0.014 is reached whatever the concentration of glycerol3.

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Affiliations

  1. Division of Low Temperature Biology, Clinical Research Centre Laboratories, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London NW7.

    • J. FARRANT

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/2221175a0

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