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Sensitivity of human embryonic stem cells to different conditions during cryopreservation

Xu, Yanqing, Zhang, Liang, Xu, Jiandong, Wei, Yuping, Xu, Xia
Cryobiology 2015 v.71 no.3 pp. 486-492
cell viability, commercialization, cooling, cryopreservation, embryonic stem cells, glycerol, humans, ice
Low cell recovery rate of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) resulting from cryopreservation damages leads to the difficulty in their successful commercialization of clinical applications. Hence in this study, sensitivity of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to different cooling rates, ice seeding and cryoprotective agent (CPA) types was compared and cell viability and recovery after cryopreservation under different cooling conditions were assessed. Both extracellular and intracellular ice formation were observed. Reactive oxidative species (ROS) accumulation of hESCs was determined. Cryopreservation of hESCs at 1 °C/min with the ice seeding and at the theoretically predicted optimal cooling rate (TPOCR) led to lower level of intracellular ROS, and prevented irregular and big ice clump formation compared with cryopreservation at 1 °C/min. This strategy further resulted in a significant increase in the hESC recovery when glycerol and 1,2-propanediol were used as the CPAs, but no increase for Me2SO. hESCs after cryopreservation under all the tested conditions still maintained their pluripotency. Our results provide guidance for improving the hESC cryopreservation recovery through the combination of CPA type, cooling rate and ice seeding.