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Mar 02, 2017 09:38 AM EST

University Of Minnesota Researchers Find New Method To Warm Cryogenically Frozen Tissue

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota were able to successfully thaw samples of cryogenically frozen tissues without damaging them. The technique is called nanowarming and has provided a breakthrough in the field of transplant medicine.

Nanowarming, the technique used by the scientists, is described as rapidly reheating biological samples which has been vitrified. Vitrification is the process of super-cooling the samples, turning it to a glassy, non-crystalline solid state.

The University of Minnesota researchers were able to successfully thaw 50-milliliter samples of tissue, Inverse reported. This is much more than the one millimeter record previously done.

The study was published in the journal "Science Translational Medicine." It was conducted by Navid Manuchehrabadi, Zhe Gao, Jinjin Zhang, Hattie L. Ring, Qi Shao, Feng Liu, Michael McDermott, Alex Fok, Yoed Rabin, Kelvin G. M. Brockbank, Michael Garwood, Christy L. Haynes and John C. Bischof.

The new method is expected to lead to giving scientists the ability to warm up large portions of cryopreserved organs. This will be very helpful in eliminating waiting lists for organ transplants.

One of the University of Minnesota researchers, John Bischof, said that the next step they will take is to test nanowarming on rabbit kidneys. According to BuzzFeed News, Bischof added that the real test of the new method is to see whether the transplanted kidney will work.

Cryopreservation uses chemicals called cryoprotectants, which are antifreeze chemicals, that cools the tissue to very low temperatures without damaging it. This has been done for quite some time now.

The real issue was on reheating the cryogenically frozen organs once again without doing any damage to it. Heat needs to be evenly distributed quickly so that the tissue or organ does not crack.

Science Alert noted that the University of Minnesota researchers used nanoparticles instead of convection. They combined mixed silica-coated iron oxide nanoparticles to a solution and applied uniform heat using an external magnetic field.

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