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Benefits of using our solvent-free technology

Biological tissue under ambient conditions will inevitably degrade. Hence cryopreservation (storage in a freezer) of cells, tissues, proteins, food etc is an essential technology in our lives, industry and all biomedical research. Most cryopreservation methods rely on adding large amounts of organic solvents, such as glycerol and DMSO. This does often work, but gives less than 100 % recovery of activity, the solvents can interfer with downstream assays hence must be removed and in many cases, there are proteins/cells which simply cannot be stored.

We have developed (and filed intellectual property on) a panel of new cryopreservatives which do not use any organic solvents. These cryopreservatives have been validated with range of proteins (insulin, Taq polymerase, Glucose oxidase, an antibody and more) and microorganisms (E.coli, M.smegmatis, B. Subtillis). In all cases, our solutions match or exceed the performance of glycerol.

We also have evidence showing cryopreservation at - 20 C in some cases, enabling storage in a standard laboratory freezer without the need to find space in a - 80 C.

The technology is inspired by antifreeze proteins which are produced in cold-acclimitised species which act to control ice growth formation. We have identified unique formulations of synthetic polymers which can mimic this effect, but with the following benefits;

1) Polymers are biocompatibile, and available as food grade

2) Polymers enable cryopreservation in some cases at just 1 wt % additive (compared to 10 - 20 % for glycerol)

3) Our cryoprotectants often exceed the performance of glycerol

4) The price of these is competitive with current solutions (in addition to performance benefits)

5) The polymers do not interfere with downstream assays and hence do not need to be removed (but can be)

Some example data is below



We look forward to sharing this unique, Warwick-developed, technology with you, and hopefully providing real benefit to your biochemical and structural biology research. If you have bespoke storage challenges (from food, to proteins, to primary human cells) we have a variety of additional methods which we can help with.