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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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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
20 Jun 2018
Accepted
19 Oct 2018
First published
08 Nov 2018

This article is Open Access

Mater. Horiz., 2019,6, 364-368
Article type
Communication

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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