A sweet and steady future---long-term storage of gametes and gonadal tissues in trehalose glass at room temperature
Looking into the Crystal Ball
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2, P113-114, NOVEMBER 01, 2020
Pierre Comizzoli, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Our scientific community still relies on expensive, low temperature methods for preserving biomaterials—from DNA samples, to blood products, to germ cells and reproductive tissues. Currently, samples are processed and stored using classic approaches: in electrical subzero freezers or liquid nitrogen containers that require complex maintenance, alarms and specialized rooms with back-up power and HVAC systems. Unfortunately, electricity and liquid nitrogen are costly and not always readily available in some regions of the world. Contemporary cryostorage systems also are prone to failures—from human error to equipment breakdown—which has recently led to dramatic sample losses in human fertility clinics. Another major concern is the extreme sensitivity and specificities of tissues, cells, organelles, and DNA to cryoprotectants and low temperature exposures, lessons we have learned from years of studies (1, 2).