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Issue 2, 2019
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Ice-recrystallization inhibiting polymers protect proteins against freeze-stress and enable glycerol-free cryostorage

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Abstract

Proteins are ubiquitous in molecular biotechnology, biotechnology and as therapeutics, but there are significant challenges in their storage and distribution, with freezing often required. This is traditionally achieved by the addition of cryoprotective agents such as glycerol (or trehalose) or covalent modification of mutated proteins with cryoprotectants. Here, ice recrystallization inhibiting polymers, inspired by antifreeze proteins, are used synergistically with poly(ethylene glycol) as an alternative to glycerol. The primary mechanism of action appears to be preventing irreversible aggregation due to ice growth. The polymer formulation is successfully used to cryopreserve a range of important proteins including insulin, Taq DNA polymerase and an IgG antibody. The polymers do not require covalent conjugation, nor modification of the protein and are already used in a wide range of biomedical applications, which will facilitate translation to a range of biologics.

Graphical abstract: Ice-recrystallization inhibiting polymers protect proteins against freeze-stress and enable glycerol-free cryostorage

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Jun 2018, accepted on 19 Oct 2018 and first published on 08 Nov 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8MH00727F
Citation: Mater. Horiz., 2019,6, 364-368
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Ice-recrystallization inhibiting polymers protect proteins against freeze-stress and enable glycerol-free cryostorage

    D. E. Mitchell, A. E. R. Fayter, R. C. Deller, M. Hasan, J. Gutierrez-Marcos and M. I. Gibson, Mater. Horiz., 2019, 6, 364
    DOI: 10.1039/C8MH00727F

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