Cryopreservation may not damage cells

University of Helsinki chemist Anatoli Bogdan reports that cells, tissues, and perhaps the body, could be cryopreserved without suffering damage from ice crystals. Most people are familiar with cryopreservation as a method that could someday enable dead people to be reanimated when cures are available for whatever killed them. (Note: Cryonics organization Alcor says their technique doesn't cause the formation of ice crystals anyway.) Bogdan reports the results of his study in the scientific publication American Chemical Society (ACS) Journal of Physical Chemistry B. From the ACS News Service:

In medicine, cryopreservation involves preserving organs and tissues for transplantation or other uses. Only certain kinds of cells and tissues, including sperm and embryos, currently can be frozen and successfully rewarmed. A major problem hindering wider use of cryopreservation is formation of ice crystals, which damage cell structures…

"It may seem fantastic, but the fact that in aqueous solution, [the] water component can be slowly supercooled to the glassy state and warmed back without the crystallization implies that, in principle, if the suitable cryoprotectant is created, cells in plants and living matter could withstand a large supercooling and survive," Bogdan explained.