In most cryopreservation applications, the final concentrations of cryoprotective agents (CPAs) must be reduced to biocompatible levels. However, traditional methods for removing CPAs usually have disadvantages of operation complexity, time consumption, and ease of contamination, especially for the applications involving large volumes of cell suspensions. A dilution-filtration system, which involves pure ultrafiltration for separation, was developed for continuous, automatic, and closed process of removing CPAs. To predict the optimal protocols under given experimental conditions, a theoretical model was established first. Cell-free experiments were then conducted to investigate the variation in CPA concentration during the process, and the experimental data were compared with the theoretical values for the validation of the model. Finally, ten units (212.9ml/unit±9.5ml/unit) of thawed human red blood cells (cryopreserved with 40% (w/v) glycerol) were deglycerolized using the theoretically optimal operation protocols to further validate the effectiveness and advantage of the system. In the cell-free experiments, glycerol was continuously removed and the concentration variations fitted the simulated results quite well. In the in-vitro experiments, glycerol concentration in RBC suspension was reduced to 5.57g/l±2.81g/l within an hour, and the cell count recovery rate was 91.19%±3.57%, (n=10), which proves that the system is not only safe for removing CPAs, but also particularly efficient for processing large-scale samples. However, the operation parameters must be carefully controlled and the optimal protocols should be specialized and various from case to case. The presented theoretical model provides an effective approach to find out the optimal operation protocols under given experimental conditions and constrains.

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