Professor Allison Hubel, pictured here, recently presented to a National Academy of Engineering meeting in Washington on the role of Preservation in the variability of Regenerative Medicine products.
In the talk she emphasised that seemingly subtle effects can have a profound end effect on sample thaw recovery. As such an understanding of the scientific basis for each step is critical in preventing poor outcomes - very relevant to the expanding field of 'personalised medicine' products.
Allison, of Minnesota University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, covered topics on the criticality of cell collection (the temperatures at which a sample was held pending freezing for example), the actual pre-freeze processing, the dangers of transient warming events and the need to correctly undertake post thaw assessment. The sources of variation at post thaw assessment could be such as failing to calculate cell losses due to lysis, failure to account for the effects of post thaw apoptosis and failure to optimise an assay.
Specialist resource for practitioners and researchers
The BioCoR unit, run by Professor Hubel, is a specialist resource for practitioners and researchers interested in the practicalities of the preservation of biological specimens, many of which, although of tremendous interest, cannot be effectively preserved. For example, those responding poorly to conventional preservation are platelets which can only be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days and granulocytes for only 24 hours. For hESCs current methods with the best outcome are appropriate only for small scale applications as they exhibit poor post-thaw colony attachment and high degrees of differentiation, whist the freezing behaviour of IPS cells has been little studied at all. This topic is expanded at https://www.biocor.umn.edu/about/why-biocor
For further information
Biopreservation Core Resource (BioCoR) University of Minnesota
The unit provides many facilities for people interested in the wider field of cell preservations: support courses, newsletters, hands on training plus a library.