Crystallization and Vitrification in Cryoprotected Aqueous Systems

  • C. A. Angell
  • H. Senapati
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 147)


In the search for improved methods of preserving multicellular systems and recovering them in viable condition, attention must be focussed on the avoidance, or at least the careful control, of crystallization of ice. Although it seems that there may be some aqueous systems from which ice could never crystallize (because the liquid enters the glassy state while it is still in the thermodynamically stable state — for instance H2O + H2Cr2O7 solutions of eutectic composition, (1)), such cases are not of great relevance to cryobiological practice. In most systems there is a close correlation between the ability of the solution to support living cells and the ease with which the solution generates ice crystals during cooling. This is no doubt due to the fact that it is the “free”, or unbound, water which is involved in each function. The cryobiologist’s task is to suppress the latter as far as possible without prejudicing, too much, the former. In this effort, the need to understand the rate of ice nucleation and rate of growth of ice crystals in relation to temperature, pressure, and composition variables, is obvious.


Homogeneous Nucleation Escape Time Silver Iodide Antarctic Fish Supercooled Water 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Angell
    • 1
  • H. Senapati
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteIndianaUSA

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