Ice Crystals in Tissues and Organs

  • David E. Pegg
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 147)


It is generally supposed that extracellular ice is innocuous to slowly-frozen cells — that freezing damage is a consequence either of reduction in temperature per se, or of changes in solution composition occasioned by freezing, or both. There are many papers supporting this view, but those of Lovelock (1,2), Meryman (3), Farrant and Morris (4) and Mazur (5) will suffice. However, this comfortable consensus has recently been disturbed by Mazur and his colleagues (6,7,8,9) who now advocate a direct, presumbly mechanical, action by extracellular ice. These workers have provided extensive experimental evidence which they believe indicates that reduction in the fraction of water that remains unfrozen is more damaging than the increase in solute concentration that accompanies freezing: they discuss mechanisms such as crushing of cells within the narrow liquid channels between the ice masses, and forced cell-to-cell contacts.


Freezing Point Organ Preservation Rabbit Kidney Tubular Lumen Constitutional Supercooling 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Pegg
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Medical Cryobiology GroupUniversity Department of SurgeryCambridgeUK

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