Cryopreservation is the only alternative for long-term preservation of high-quality biomaterials, where the availability of reliable techniques for preservation of multicellular structures and organs represents an unmet medical need. Developing cryopreservation techniques revolves around controlling the formation of ice crystals, which is known to be lethal to living cells. Cryopreservation is typically achieved in the presence of cryoprotective agents (CPAs), which exhibit a dramatic increase in viscosity with decreasing temperature. Subject to high cooling rates, the rapidly elevating viscosity of the CPA suppresses ice crystallization and promotes vitrification (vitreous means glassy in Latin). Unfortunately, available CPAs are known to be toxic at the relevant concentrations which permit vitrification. One potential method of reducing CPA concentration, and thereby achieving conditions more favorable to the tissue, is with the introduction of the so-called synthetic ice blockers (SIBs)—the subject matter of the current study.

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