Re: Cryoprotectants anyone?

Anders Sandberg (
14 Dec 1997 15:59:47 +0100

Twink <> writes:

> To this end, I typed in the following schema, in hopes that someone will
> either tell me:
> a) it's already being done,
> b) it won't work, or
> c) it's a brilliant idea and let's get started.

I would say it is a bit of all three. There is research being done on
finding good cryoprotectants, but it is more narrow than your
approach. A wide search would be useful, but it would be expensive and
we need good specifications. I suppose the cryo people can comment
more extensively on this topic.

> Engineering cryoprotectants:
> The basic idea is to come up with specificaions for the ideal cryoprotectant
> in detail. And I mean, ultimately, in technical detail. This will probably
> involve
> finding some rigorous tests, such as how well it allows cells to not suffer
> damage, though I would advise other tests as well. Perhaps some sort of
> microstructure could be used as a test bed.

I think this is the hard part, since damage is not just quantitative,
it is also qualitative. Is it good if the cell walls are whole but
some proteins are denaturated? I would suggest that the effect on the
brain is the most important, but even there it is not clear what
structures are the most important (sacrifice axons for synapses, or
vice versa?).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y