Simultaneous monitoring of different vitrification solution components permeating into tissues
Cryopreservation can be used for long-term preservation of tissues and organs. It relies on using complex mixtures of cryoprotective agents (CPAs) to reduce the damaging effects of freezing, but care should be taken to avoid toxic effects of CPAs themselves. In order to rationally design cryopreservation strategies for tissues, it is important to precisely determine permeation kinetics of the protectants that are used to ensure maximum permeation, while minimizing the exposure time and toxicity effects. This is particularly challenging with protectant solutions consisting of multiple components each with different physical properties and diffusing at a different rate. In this study, we show that an attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) setup can be used to simultaneously monitor diffusion of multiple components in a mixture into tissues in real time. Diffusion studies were done with decellularized heart valves using a sucrose–DMSO mixture as well as vitrification solution VS83. To assess diffusion kinetics of different solutes in mixtures, the increase in specific infrared absorbance bands was monitored during diffusion through the tissue. Solute specific wavenumber ranges were selected, and the calculated area was assumed to be proportional to the CPA concentration in the tissue. A diffusion equation based on Fick's second law of diffusion fitted the experimental data quite well, and clear differences in permeation rates were observed among the different mixture components dependent on molecular size and physical properties.
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