Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cryopreservation, which derives from the Greek word cryo for “icy cold,” is a process whereby cells and sometimes whole tissues are preserved by cooling to very low subzero temperatures, often 77 K or minus 196 degrees C, the boiling point of liquid nitrogen. This is because at these very low temperatures any biological activity is effectively stopped, including those biochemical reactions that might lead to cell death. The problem is often that the act of freezing the cells at such low temperatures may seriously damage the cells. In addition, there can be problems with the high ...