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Persistent URL http://purl.org/net/epubs/work/17696679
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Record Id 17696679
Title Strong Isotope Effects on Melting Dynamics and Ice Crystallisation Processes in Cryo Vitrification Solutions
Abstract The nucleation and growth of crystalline ice during cooling, and further crystallization processes during re-warming are considered to be key processes determining the success of low temperature storage of biological objects, as used in medical, agricultural and nature conservation applications. To avoid these problems a method, termed vitrification, is being developed to inhibit ice formation by use of high concentration of cryoprotectants and ultra-rapid cooling, but this is only successful across a limited number of biological objects and in small volume applications. This study explores physical processes of ice crystal formation in a model cryoprotective solution used previously in trials on vitrification of complex biological systems, to improve our understanding of the process and identify limiting biophysical factors. Here we present results of neutron scattering experiments which show that even if ice crystal formation has been suppressed during quench cooling, the water molecules, mobilised during warming, can crystallise as detectable ice. The crystallisation happens right after melting of the glass phase formed during quench cooling, whilst the sample is still transiting deep cryogenic temperatures. We also observe strong water isotope effects on ice crystallisation processes in the cryoprotectant mixture. In the neutron scattering experiment with a fully protiated water component, we observe ready crystallisation occurring just after the glass melting transition. On the contrary with a fully deuteriated water component, the process of crystallisation is either completely or substantially supressed. This behaviour might be explained by nuclear quantum effects in water. The strong isotope effect, observed here, may play an important role in development of new cryopreservation strategies.
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Language English (EN)
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Journal Article PLoS ONE 10, no. 3 (2015): e0120611. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120611 2015