X-Message-Number: 16079
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 09:23:20 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: Dried-out human cells come back to life

    Previous work has indicated that only the fragility of cellular
membranes prevents most cells from surviving desiccation. The current
results with glycan comfirm this. The seemingly conflicting results with
trehalose exhibit a dose/response effect. Trehalose must be on both sides
of the plasma membrane to be effective, and the concentration must be
above a threshold. Sucrose works as well.
    However both trehalose and glycan have too low a permeability towards
tissue, to be useful in organ preservation. Perhaps if the glycan could be
reduced to it's components in order to penetrate tissue, and then
reassembled it might prove to be useful.
    A small step in the direction of self-assembling anhydroprotectants
has already been taken by preserving cells with
trehalose/borate. (Cryobiology 41: 17-24 2000) These two items react to
increase anhydroprotection. If something similar could be engineered with
a permeating solute like glycerol then longterm room temperature organ
storage might quickly become a reality.

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