Although desiccation preservation offers promise as an alternative method for the preservation of mammalian cells, there has been limited success in achieving survival at very low water content [1]. Osmotic injury is one of the major damage factors during cellular dehydration. During the drying process, cells experience increased extracellular hypertonic environment as a result of evaporation of water. This factor coupled with the limited permeability of cell membranes leads to irreversible cellular damage. In the current study, we have studied the effect of hypertonic osmolality and exposure time on bovine sperm motility. The goal was to develop a theoretical osmotic damage model to predict motility loss during dehydration. Modeling was performed by using a first order rate equation. Motility data from the hypertonic exposure experiments were used to determine the first order reaction parameters and the cumulative osmotic damage (COD), which provided a measure of the extent of osmotic damage. The parameters were then used to predict motility of natural convection desiccation process. Experimental drying data was compared to the predicted data to determine the extent of osmotic damage.

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