Purpose of review The objective of this review is to describe the physical and biological barriers to organ cryopreservation, historic approaches for conventional cryopreservation and evolving techniques for ice-free cryopreservation by vitrification. Recent findings Vitrification is a process whereby a biologic substance is cooled to cryogenic temperatures without the destructive phase transition of liquid to solid ice. Recent advances in cryoprotective solutions, organ perfusion techniques and novel heating technologies have demonstrated the potential for vitrification and rewarming organs on a scale applicable for human transplantation. Summary Successful strategies for organ cryopreservation could enable organ banking, which would recast the entire process in which organs are recovered, allocated, stored and prepared for transplant.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
EBF and JCB are supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (R01AI091974).
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- cryoprotective agents
- organ cryopreservation
- thermal hysteresis
- tissue viability