X-Message-Number: 19820
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 18:37:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: desiccation tolerance in human cells

  Desiccation tolerance in human cells.
  Cryobiology.  42(3):207-17, 2001 May.
  The ability to desiccate mammalian cells while maintaining a high degree of
  viability would have implications for many areas of biological science,
  including tissue engineering. Previously, we reported that introduction of
  the genes for trehalose biosynthesis allowed human cells in culture to be
  reversibly desiccated for up to 5 days. Here, we have further investigated
  the factors that allow human cells to survive in the desiccated state. The
  most important finding is that vacuum greatly enhances the ability of human
  cells in culture to withstand desiccation. In fact, cells
  dried slowly and stored under vacuum are able to withstand
  desiccation even in the absence of added carbohydrates or
  polyols. In addition to vacuum, the rate of desiccation, the
  temperature at which cells are maintained, the degree of confluence when
  dried, and the presence or absence of light have a large effect on the
  ability to retain viability in the desiccated state. Our data are consistent
  with a model in which cells can retain viability if they are desiccated in
  such a way that cellular structures are maintained. However, gradual loss of
  viability may be due to damage that occurs over time in the desiccated state,
  perhaps due to free radicals. Further optimization of the process for
  desiccating and maintaining cells is required before long-term storage of
  desiccated cells can be achieved. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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