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Abstract or Description

This study investigates the effects of the thermal protocol on the development and relaxation of thermo-mechanical stress in cryopreservation by means of glass formation, also known as vitrification. The cryopreserved medium is modeled as a homogeneous viscoelastic domain, constrained within either a stiff cylindrical container or a highly compliant bag. Annealing effects during the cooling phase of the cryopreservation protocol are analyzed. Results demonstrate that an intermediate temperature-hold period can significantly reduce the maximum tensile stress, thereby decreasing the potential for structural damage. It is also demonstrated that annealing at temperatures close to glass transition significantly weakens the dependency of thermo-mechanical stress on the cooling rate. Furthermore, a slower initial rewarming rate after cryogenic storage may drastically reduce the maximum tensile stress in the material, which supports previous experimental observations on the likelihood of fracture at this stage. This study discusses the dependency of the various stress components on the storage temperature. Finally, it is demonstrated that the stiffness of the container wall can affect the location of maximum stress, with implications on the development of cryopreservation protocols.





Published In

Cryogenics, 64, 86-94.