DMSO-free Electroporation and xeno-free media as new approaches to stem cell cryopreservation

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Lately, new approaches for cryopreservation that seek to improve the freezing of stem cells by moving away from the traditionally-toxic DMSO or by using xeno-free media have been growing in numbers, and so has the industry’s interest in such solutions and technologies that allow for the development of safer cryopreservation approaches.

We have written extensively in the past about new approaches for cryopreservation, particularly within the context of our industry-leading DMSO-free family of products, CryoNovo. As we continued to innovate with new solutions for an expanding variety of cell types, we are always keen to hear about new technologies and approaches that are emerging in the scientific literature.

This week, we highlight two recent manuscripts which describe two new approaches for cryopreservation.

Dr. Brendan Grubbs and his lab at the University of Southern California evaluated a new xeno-free medium for the cryopreservation of amniotic stem cells. These are cells derived from the amniotic fluid and membrane, and they can differentiate into various tissues, including skin, cartilage, bone, nerve and muscle.

They tested a number of commercial xeno-free media, namely CryoStor CS10, CryoStor CS5, STEM-CELLBANKER, CryoStem and Synth-a-Freeze against traditional FBS, which was used as the control. Readouts measured by quantitative PCR (for gene expression levels) and flow cytometry post-thaw indicated similarity between these xeno-free media and FBS.

The manuscript, titled Biological impact of xeno-free chemically defined cryopreservation medium on amniotic epithelial cells was published last week online.

While the above xeno-free media are attractive as alternative toFBS, they still contain DMSO, which is largely undesirable.

At the recent 1st World Congress on Electroporation and Pulsed Electric Fields in Biology, Medicine and Food & Environmental Technologies the lab of Dr. Miklavcic at the University of Ljubljana described a new approach to cryopreservation that is DMSO-free and utilizes electroporation.

In their experiments, they replaced DMSO with tribalism and utilized electroporation to permeabilize the cells to the cryoprotectant.

While their approach resulted in 61% viability compared to 85% obtained with DMSO, the authors postulated electroporation is a promising approach worth further deveolopment.

The work, titled Cryopreservation of Human Umbilical Stem Cells in Combination with Trehalose and Reversible Electroporation, is a conference proceeding and as such very preliminary.

You can read it here.


Akron at Phacilitate 2015

Akron Biotech will participate at Phacilitate 2015, taking place this coming week at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. The conference was scheduled to take place from January 25-27. However, due to the storm that affected the Northeast this weekend – particularly DC – the start was pushed back to Tuesday, January 26th to accomodate affected delegates’ travel schedules.

Updated talk times for Akron’s presentations will be give here as soon as they are made available – stay tuned.

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