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Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation or cryoconservation is a process where organelles, cells, tissues, extracellular matrix, organs or any other biological constructs susceptible to damage caused by unregulated chemical kinetics are preserved by cooling to very low temperatures[1] (typically -80 °C using solid carbon dioxide or -196 °C using liquid nitrogen). At low enough temperatures, any enzymatic or chemical activity which might cause damage to the biological material in question is effectively stopped. Cryopreservation methods seek to reach low temperatures without causing additional damage caused by the formation of ice during freezing. Traditional cryopreservation has relied on coating the material to be frozen with a class of molecules termed cryoprotectants. New methods are constantly being investigated due to the inherent toxicity of many cryoprotectants.[2] By default it should be considered that cryopreservation alters or compromises the structure and function of cells unless it is proven otherwise for a particular cell population. Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources is the process in which animal genetic material is collected and stored with the intention of conservation of the breed.

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