"The development of low toxicity cryoprotectants and cryopreservation techniques."

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: School of Life Sciences


Cells can be cooled to very low temperatures, halting their metabolism and allowing them to be stored indefinitely. However, this process results in a significant loss of viability and cell function due to freezing damage and cryoprotectant toxicity. This project will utilise a variety of techniques to minimise damage during the cryopreservation process. Intracellular ice formation is known to be highly lethal to cells. Developing effective cryoprotectants will be enhanced by an awareness of where ice is forming in a sample. As such, Raman microscopy will be used to image intracellular and extracellular ice formation during cell freezing. Traditional solvent cryoprotectants such as DMSO are damaging to cells and can cause adverse effects if those cells are transplanted into humans. A new non-toxic small molecular penetrating cryoprotectant will be synthesised and tested, with the aim of reducing the amount of solvent needed for cryopreservation. Raman microscopy will be used to map the intracellular presence of this cryoprotectant and determine its relationship to ice formation.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2097326 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Alexander Murray