Cryopreservation and biobanking are indispensable tools in modern medicine and research. Cryopreservation involves freezing biological samples such as cells, tissues, and organs at extremely low temperatures, usually below −196°C, to maintain their viability and functionality for prolonged periods. Biobanking refers to the storage of biological samples for research purposes. It provides a reliable source of biological specimens for research studies, which may be used for the development of new drugs, diagnostic tests, and therapies. However, the successful cryopreservation and biobanking of biological specimens require the use of various cryoprotective agents (CPAs), such as DMSO.
DMSO Dimethyl Sulfoxide is a well-known cryoprotectant that is widely used in cryopreservation and biobanking. It is a polar, aprotic solvent that has a low freezing point (18.4°C) and high boiling point (189°C). DMSO is a versatile solvent that can dissolve a wide range of substances, including proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules. Its ability to permeate biological membranes makes it an excellent solvent for cryopreservation and biobanking.
Role of DMSO in cryopreservation:
Cryopreservation involves the freezing of biological specimens at extremely low temperatures, usually below −196°C, in liquid nitrogen. The process of freezing and thawing can cause damage to biological specimens due to the formation of ice crystals. The formation of ice crystals can disrupt cellular structures, leading to cell death. To minimize the damage caused by ice crystal formation, CPAs such as DMSO are used.
DMSO functions as a cryoprotectant by reducing the formation of ice crystals and increasing the solubility of intracellular solutes. It is known to have a colligative effect, where it reduces the freezing point of the solvent, leading to the suppression of ice crystal formation. Furthermore, DMSO is also known to have a vitrification effect, where it prevents ice crystal formation by solidifying the solution into a glass-like state.
The concentration of DMSO used in cryopreservation is crucial in determining the viability of biological specimens after thawing. High concentrations of DMSO can be toxic to cells and may cause damage to cellular structures. Therefore, it is essential to optimize the concentration of DMSO used in cryopreservation to ensure the maximum viability of biological specimens.
Nerve damage can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, leading to chronic pain, loss of sensation, and motor function. Nerve regeneration is a complex process that involves the regrowth of damaged nerve fibers and the restoration of neural connections. Although nerve regeneration is a challenging area of research, recent studies have shown that dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) may play a role in promoting nerve regeneration.
DMSO is a highly versatile compound that has been extensively studied for its various medical applications, including as a solvent, cryoprotectant, and anti-inflammatory agent. In recent years, its potential as a nerve regeneration agent has become an area of increasing interest in medical research.
The Role of DMSO in Nerve Regeneration:
Nerve regeneration is a complex process that involves multiple stages, including degeneration, inflammation, and regrowth. DMSO is believed to play a role in each of these stages, making it a promising candidate for nerve regeneration.
During nerve damage, axons and their surrounding structures, such as the myelin sheath, undergo degeneration. DMSO has been shown to protect axons from degeneration by increasing the expression of neurotrophic factors, such as nerve growth factor (NGF). Neurotrophic factors play a crucial role in promoting nerve regeneration by stimulating the growth and survival of nerve cells.