Optimization of cryopreservation protocols for cells and tissues requires accurate models of heat and mass transport. Model selection often depends on the configuration of the tissue. Here, a mathematical and conceptual model of water and solute transport for whole hamster pancreatic islets has been developed and experimentally validated incorporating fundamental biophysical data from previous studies on individual hamster islet cells while retaining whole-islet structural information. It describes coupled transport of water and solutes through the islet by three methods: intracellularly, intercellularly, and in combination. In particular we use domain decomposition techniques to couple a transmembrane flux model with an interstitial mass transfer model. The only significant undetermined variable is the cellular surface area which is in contact with the intercellularly transported solutes, Ais. The model was validated and Ais determined using a 3×3 factorial experimental design blocked for experimental day. Whole islet physical experiments were compared with model predictions at three temperatures, three perfusing solutions, and three islet size groups. A mean of 4.4 islets were compared at each of the 27 experimental conditions and found to correlate with a coefficient of determination of 0.87±0.06 (mean ± SD). Only the treatment variable of perfusing solution was found to be significant (p<0.05). We have devised a model that retains much of the intrinsic geometric configuration of the system, and thus fewer laboratory experiments are needed to determine model parameters and thus to develop new optimized cryopreservation protocols. Additionally, extensions to ovarian follicles and other concentric tissue structures may be made.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia and emphysema are life-threatening diseases resulting from impaired alveolar development or alveolar destruction. Both conditions lack effective therapies. Angiogenic growth factors promote alveolar growth and contribute to alveolar maintenance. Endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) represent a subset of circulating and resident endothelial cells capable of self-renewal and de novo vessel formation. We hypothesized that resident ECFCs exist in the developing lung, that they are impaired during arrested alveolar growth in experimental bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and that exogenous ECFCs restore disrupted alveolar growth.
In Part I, we documented differences in cryopreservation success measured by membrane integrity in four mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) lines from different genetic backgrounds (BALB/c, CBA, FVB, and 129R1), and we demonstrated a potential biophysical basis for these differences through a comparative study characterizing the membrane permeability characteristics and osmotic tolerance limits of each cell line. Here we use these values to predict optimal cryoprotectants, cooling rates, warming rates, and plunge temperatures. We subsequently verified these predictions experimentally for their effects on post-thaw recovery. From this study, we determined that a cryopreservation protocol utilizing 1M propylene glycol, a cooling rate of 1°C/minute, and plunging into liquid nitrogen at -41°C, combined with subsequent warming in a 22°C water bath with agitation, significantly improved post-thaw recovery for three of the four mESC lines, and did not diminish post-thaw recovery for our single exception. It is proposed that this protocol can be successfully applied to most mESC lines beyond those included within this study once the effect of propylene glycol on mESC gene expression, growth characteristics, and germ-line transmission has been determined. Mouse ESC lines with poor survival using current standard cryopreservation protocols or our proposed protocol can be optimized on a case-by-case basis using the method we have outlined over two papers. For our single exception, the CBA cell line, a cooling rate of 5°C/minute in the presence of 1.0M dimethyl sulfoxide or 1.0M propylene glycol, combined with plunge temperature of -80°C was optimal.
The post-thaw recovery of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) is often assumed to be adequate with current methods. However as this publication will show, this recovery of viable cells actually varies significantly by genetic background. Therefore there is a need to improve the efficiency and reduce the variability of current mESC cryopreservation methods. To address this need, we employed the principles of fundamental cryobiology to improve the cryopreservation protocol of four mESC lines from different genetic backgrounds (BALB/c, CBA, FVB, and 129R1 mESCs) through a comparative study characterizing the membrane permeability characteristics and membrane integrity osmotic tolerance limits of each cell line. In the companion paper, these values were used to predict optimal cryoprotectants, cooling rates, warming rates, and plunge temperatures, and then these predicted optimal protocols were validated against standard freezing protocols.
This note describes the design, fabrication, and testing of a novel microelectromechanical systems Coulter counter. The Coulter counter will be used to detect and monitor impedance changes of cells as a function of time in response to different experimental extracellular environments. The device consists of SU-8 (negative photoresist) microchannels, vertical electroplated electrodes, polydimethylsiloxane cover, and is divided into a passive mixing region, a focusing region using negative dielectrophoretic forces, and a measuring region defined by multiple electroplated electrode pairs. The devices were tested using both microbeads in saline water and fibroblast cells in phosphate buffered saline solution. The results show that the proposed microsystem is capable of monitoring impedance of cells at different positions along the Coulter microchannel.
Cell volume and concentration regulation in the presence of changing extracellular environments has been studied for centuries, and recently a general nondimensional model was introduced that encompassed solute and solvent transmembrane flux for a wide variety of solutes and flux mechanisms. Moreover, in many biological applications it is of considerable interest to understand optimal controls for both volume and solute concentrations. Here we examine a natural extension of this general model to an arbitrary number of solutes or solute pathways, show that this system is globally asymptotically stable and controllable, define necessary conditions for time-optimal controls in the arbitrary-solute case, and using a theorem of Boltyanski prove sufficient conditions for these controls in the commonly encountered two-solute case.
Partial phase diagrams are of considerable utility in the development of optimized cryobiological procedures. Recent theoretical predictions of the melting points of ternary solutions of interest to cryobiology have caused us to re-examine measurements that our group made for the ethylene-glycol-sodium chloride-water phase diagram. Here we revisit our previous experiments by measuring melting points at five ethylene-glycol to sodium chloride ratios (R values; R=5, 10, 15, 30, and 45) and five levels of concentration for each ratio. Melting points were averaged from three measurements and plotted as a function of total solute concentration for each R value studied. The new measurements differed from our original experimental values and agreed with predicted values from both theoretical models. Additionally, the data were fit to the polynomial described in our previous report and the resulting equation was obtained: T(m) = (38.3-2.145 x 10?¹ R)w + (81.19 - 2.909×10?¹ R)w², where w is the total solute mass fraction. This new equation provided good fits to the experimental data as well as published values and relates the determined polynomial constants to the R value of the corresponding isopleths of the three dimensional phase diagram, allowing the liquids curve for any R value to be obtained.
Characterization of the thermodynamic properties of multi-solute aqueous solutions is of critical importance for biological and biochemical research. For example, the phase diagrams of aqueous systems, containing salts, saccharides, and plasma membrane permeating solutes, are indispensible in the field of cryobiology and pharmacology. However, only a few ternary phase diagrams are currently available for these systems. In this study, an auto-sampler differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) was used to determine the quaternary phase diagram of the water-ethylene glycol-sucrose-NaCl system. To improve the accuracy of melting point measurement, a "mass-redemption" method was also applied for the DSC technique. Base on the analyses of these experimental data, a comparison was made between the two practical approaches to generate phase diagrams of multi-solute solutions from those of single-solute solutions: the summation of cubic polynomial melting point equations versus the use of osmotic virial equations with cross coefficients. The calculated values of the model standard deviations suggested that both methods are satisfactory for characterizing this quaternary system.
Pronuclear injection has been a successful strategy for generating genetically engineered mouse models to better understand the functionality of genes. A characteristic of pronuclear injection is that random integration of the transgene into the genome can disturb a functional gene and result in a phenotype unrelated to the transgene itself. In this study, we have characterized a mouse model containing an insertional mutation that, in the homozygous state, severely affects spermatogenesis as characterized by lack of sperm motility and acrosomal aplasia. Whereas homozygous female mice had normal fertility, male mice homozygous for the insertional mutation were unable to produce pups by natural mating with either homozygous or wild-type female mice. No fertilized embryos were produced by matings to homozygous male mice, and no sperm were present in the reproductive tract of mated female mice. Spermatozoa isolated from homozygous male mice exhibited head and midpiece defects, but no major defects in the principal piece of these sperm. Histologic examination and immunohistochemical staining of the testes revealed vacuolar degeneration of Sertoli cells and loss of structural seminiferous tubule integrity and organization, indicating that spermatogenesis is severely affected in this mouse model. Although the males are always infertile, the severity of the histologic and sperm morphologic defects appeared to be age-related.
Characterization of intracellular ice formed during the cooling procedures of cells significantly benefits the development and optimization design of cryopreservation or cryosurgery techniques. In this study, we investigated the influence of the concentration of extracellular non-permeable and permeable solutes on the melting points of the intracellular ice in mouse oocytes using cryomicroscopy. The results showed that the melting points of the intracellular ice are always lower than the extracellular ice. Based on this observation and the Gibbs-Thomson relation, we established a physical model to calculate the size of intracellular ice crystals and described its relationship with the concentrations of intracellular permeating solutes and macromolecules. This model predicts that the increased concentration of macromolecules in cells, by increasing the extracellular non-permeating solute concentration, can significantly lower the required concentration of permeable solutes for intracellular vitrification. The prediction was tested through the cryomicroscopic observation of the co-existence of intracellular vitrification and extracellular crystallization during cooling at 100 degrees C/min when the extracellular solutions contain 5 molal (m) ethylene glycol and 0.3 to 0.6m NaCl.
Having an effective means to cryopreserve human oocytes would offer more flexibility in healthcare services for infertility patients, and obviate cryopreservation of preimplantation embryos. It is essential to establish good animal models for human oocyte cryopreservation and the rabbit is a good candidate. Attempts to improve oocyte cryopreservation are often empirical, with results often being irreproducible. Cryopreservation protocols may be optimized by modeling the changes in oocyte volume and the associated damages incurred during the addition and dilution of cryoprotective agents (CPA). The objectives of the current study were to determine cryobiological properties of rabbit oocytes, including the isotonic volume, osmotically inactive cell fraction (V(b)), hydraulic conductivity (L(p)), permeability (P(s)) to dimethylsulfoxide (Me(2)SO), ethylene glycol (EG), and glycerol (GLY) and to examine the correlation between cell volume excursions and viability. This has led to the development of the accumulative osmotic damage (AOD) model associated with the processes of CPA addition/dilution. Mature rabbit oocytes were perfused with 15% (V/V) CPA medium (dissolved in 1x PBS). The osmotic responses of the oocytes were videotaped. A two-parameter model was fit to the experimental data to determine the values of L(p) and P(s). Oocyte volumes reached upon equilibration with 285, 600, 900, and 1200 mOsm (milliosmolal) solutions of non-permeating compounds were plotted in a Boyle vant Hoff plot. The average radius of rabbit oocytes in an isotonic solution was determined to be 55.7+/-1.2 microm (n=16). The rabbit oocyte exhibited an "ideal" osmotic response in the range from iso-osmolity to 1200 mOsm. The V(b) was determined to be 20% of the isotonic value with r(2)=0.97. The values of L(p) were determined to be 0.79+/-0.26, 0.82+/-0.22, and 0.64+/-0.16 microm min(-1)atm(-1) and the P(s) values were determined to be 2.9+/-1.3, 2.7+/-1.3, and 0.27+/-0.18x10(-3) cm min(-1) for Me(2)SO, EG and GLY, respectively. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) between values for L(p) and P(S) in the presence of the Me(2)SO and EG. However, these values were significantly different from the values in presence of GLY. We calculated the AOD values of those oocytes that experienced the process of CPA additions/dilutions and found that these values were highly correlated to the development rates of these oocytes after parthenogenetic activation (r=-0.98).
Children and women of reproductive age are increasingly surviving cancer diagnoses, and therefore long-term quality-of-life issues are of greater importance at the time of diagnosis. Cancer therapies including radiation and chemotherapy can be detrimental to fertility, and therefore many patients are motivated to preserve fertility prior to cancer treatment. The only highly successful method in preserving fertility to date is embryo cryopreservation, which may not be appropriate for some patients due to age, delay in treatment, cancer type and stage, as well as availability of an acceptable sperm donor. Alternative methods including oocyte cryopreservation and ovarian tissue banking may also preserve fertility while providing additional flexibility to patients. In vitro ovarian follicle maturation following tissue banking is one potential approach that would not require a delay in cancer therapy for ovarian stimulation, would not require an immediate sperm donor, and does not carry the risk of reintroducing malignant cells following tissue transplantation. In vitro follicle culture systems have resulted in successful live births in the mouse. However, many challenges must be addressed in translating the system to the human. This review summarizes current approaches to fertility preservation and discusses recent developments and future challenges in developing a human in vitro follicle culture system.
Osmotic stress is an important factor that can result in cell damage during cryopreservation. Before ejaculation or collection for cryopreservation, murine spermatozoa are stored in epididymal fluid, a physiologically hyperosmotic environment (approximately 415 mmol/kg). The objectives of this study were to determine the osmotic tolerance limits of sperm motion parameters of ICR and C57BL/6 mouse spermatozoa collected in isosmotic (290 mmol/kg) and hyperosmotic (415 mmol/kg) media, and the effect of the osmolality of sperm collection media on sperm fertility after cryopreservation. Our results indicate that murine spermatozoa collected in media with different osmolalities (290 and 415 mmol/kg Dulbeccos phosphate buffered saline (DPBS)) appeared to have different osmotic tolerances for the maintenance of sperm motility and other motion parameters in both mouse strains. The hypo- and hyperosmotic treatments decreased motility and affected other motion parameters of spermatozoa collected in 290 mmol/kg DPBS. The extent of the change of motion parameters after treatments corresponded with the levels of osmotic stress. However, for spermatozoa collected in 415 mmol/kg DPBS, exposure to 290 mmol/kg DPBS tended to increase sperm motility and the quality of their motion parameters. The osmolality of sperm collection medium can affect murine sperm fertility. Spermatozoa collected in 415 mmol/kg medium showed higher fertility compared with spermatozoa collected in 290 mmol/kg as assessed by IVF. Results characterizing murine sperm osmotic tolerance collected in media with different osmolalities from different strains and the effect of collection media osmolality on sperm fertility after cryopreservation will be useful in designing cryopreservation protocols.
Cryopreservation is a powerful tool for selective breeding in aquaculture as it enables genetic material from selected stock to be stored and crossed at will. The aim of this study was to develop a method for cryopreserving oocytes of the Greenshelltrade mark mussel (Perna canaliculus), New Zealands main aquaculture species. The ability of oocytes to be fertilized post-thawing was used as the criterion for success in initial experiments and then subsequently, the ability of frozen oocytes to develop further to D-stage larvae was assessed. Ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, dimethyl sulphoxide and glycerol were evaluated at a range of concentrations with and without the addition of 0.2M trehalose using post-thaw fertilization as the endpoint. Ethylene glycol was most effective, particularly when used in combination with trehalose. A more detailed investigation revealed that ethylene glycol at 9% or 10% in the presence of 0.2-0.4M trehalose afforded the best protection. In experiments varying sperm to egg ratio and egg density in post-thaw fertilization procedures, D-larval yield averaged less than 1%. Following these results, a detailed experiment was conducted to determine the damaging steps in the cryopreservation process. Fertilization losses occurred at each step whereas D-larval yield approximately halved following CPA addition and was almost zero following cooling to -10 degrees C. Cryomicroscopy studies and fertilization results suggest that the inability of oocytes to develop to D-larvae stage after cooling to -10 degrees C and beyond are most likely related to some form of chilling injury rather than extracellular ice triggering intracellular ice formation. Further research is needed to determine the causes of this injury and to reduce CPA toxicity and/or osmotic effects.
Heat and mass transfer in a circular tube subject to the boundary condition of the third kind is investigated. The closed form of temperature and concentration distributions, the local Nusselt number based on the total external heat transfer and convective heat transfer inside the tube, as well as the Sherwood number were obtained. The effects of Lewis number and Biot number on heat and mass transfer were investigated.
Successful organ cryopreservation will significantly benefit human health and biomedical research. One of the major challenges to this accomplishment is the need for optimization of cryoprotectant agent (CPA) perfusion procedures that involve highly complicated mass transfer processes in organs. The diffusivity of CPA is of critical importance for designing perfusion procedures to minimize the associated toxicity and osmotic damage. However, to date there have been no attempts to measure the CPA diffusivity in organs. In this study, we established a simple CPA diffusion model for relatively small organs, e.g., mouse ovaries, defined the apparent diffusivity (D ) of CPA for these organs, and established a practical approach to measure the value of D through magnetic resonant imaging (MRI). Using rapid MRI techniques and water saturation analyses, the distribution of ethylene glycol (EG) concentration in the centric cross-section of mouse ovaries was measured at a series of time points during perfusion, and these data were fit to the integral form of the mass transfer equation in the established model. These fits resulted in a value of D for EG in mouse ovaries of 6.1+/-1.4 x 10(-7)cm2/s (mean+/-SD). Based on these results, we proposed a modified perfusion procedure that may improve the survival of small organs or thin tissues during equilibrium cooling processes and assessed its efficiency through theoretical analyses.
The Conference on Swine in Biomedical Research was held April 2-3, 2008, in San Diego, California. The goal of the conference was to bring together individuals who are using swine as models, creating new swine models, or studying human health and disease. This is the only conference that focuses exclusively on swine models and as such is the premier meeting for investigators who use or develop swine as models for biomedical research. The sessions focused on (1) swine models of human health and disease, (2) genomics, proteomics, and basic tools, (3) physiology and infectious disease, and (4) swine organ transplantation. In addition, a keynote speaker discussed the bioengineering of organ printing. This article presents a synopsis of the proceedings of this conference; abstracts of the presentations are available online (www.nsrrc.missouri.edu).
Stallion spermatozoa exhibit osmotic damage during the cryopreservation process. Recent studies have shown that the addition of cholesterol to spermatozoal membranes increases the cryosurvival of bull, ram and stallion spermatozoa, but the exact mechanism by which added cholesterol improves cryosurvival is not understood. The objectives of this study were to determine if adding cholesterol to stallion sperm membranes alters the osmotic tolerance limits and membrane permeability characteristics of the spermatozoa. In experiment one, stallion spermatozoa were treated with cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrin (CLC), subjected to anisotonic solutions and spermatozoal motility analyzed. The spermatozoa were then returned to isotonic conditions and the percentages of motile spermatozoa again determined. CLC treatment increased the osmotic tolerance limit of stallion spermatozoa in anisotonic solutions and when returned to isotonic conditions. The second and third experiments utilized an electronic particle counter to determine the plasma membrane characteristics of stallion spermatozoa. In experiment two, stallion spermatozoa were determined to behave as linear osmometers. In experiment three, spermatozoa were treated with CLC, incubated with different cryoprotectants (glycerol, ethylene glycol or dimethyl formamide) and their volume excursions measured during cryoprotectant removal at 5 degrees and 22 degrees C. Stallion spermatozoa were less permeable to the cryoprotectants at 5 degrees C than 22 degrees C. Glycerol was the least permeable cryoprotectant in control cells. The addition of CLCs to spermatozoa increased the permeability of stallion spermatozoa to the cryoprotectants. Therefore, adding cholesterol to spermatozoal membranes reduces the amount of osmotic stress endured by stallion spermatozoa during cryopreservation.
Cryobiology is a field with enormous scientific, financial, and even cultural impact. Successful cryopreservation of cells and tissues depends on the equilibration of these materials with high concentrations of permeating chemicals (CPAs) such as glycerol or 1,2 propylene glycol. Because cells and tissues are exposed to highly anisosmotic conditions, the resulting gradients cause large volume fluctuations that have been shown to damage cells and tissues. On the other hand, there is evidence that toxicity to these high levels of chemicals is time dependent, and therefore it is ideal to minimize exposure time as well. Because solute and solvent flux is governed by a system of ordinary differential equations, CPA addition and removal from cells is an ideal context for the application of optimal control theory. Recently, we presented a mathematical synthesis of the optimal controls for the ODE system commonly used in cryobiology in the absence of state constraints and showed that controls defined by this synthesis were optimal. Here we define the appropriate model, analytically extend the previous theory to one encompassing state constraints, and as an example apply this to the critical and clinically important cell type of human oocytes, where current methodologies are either difficult to implement or have very limited success rates. We show that an enormous increase in equilibration efficiency can be achieved under the new protocols when compared to classic protocols, potentially allowing a greatly increased survival rate for human oocytes and pointing to a direction for the cryopreservation of many other cell types.
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