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  1. Organ transplantation remains the only treatment option for patients with end-stage organ failure. The last decade has seen a flurry of activity in improving organ preservation technologies, which promise to increase utilization in a dramatic fashion. They also bring the promise of extending the preservation duration significantly, which opens the doors to sharing organs across local and international boundaries and transforms the field. In this work, we review the recent literature on machine perfusion of livers across various protocols in development and clinical use, in the context of extending the preservation duration. We then review the next generation of technologies that have the potential to further extend the limits and open the door to banking organs, including supercooling, partial freezing, and nanowarming, and outline the opportunities arising in the field for researchers in the short and long term.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 8, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Vitrification could enable long-term organ preservation, but only after loading high-concentration, potentially toxic cryoprotective agents (CPAs) by perfusion. In this paper, we combine a two-compartment Krogh cylinder model with a toxicity cost function to theoretically optimize the loading of CPA (VMP) in rat kidneys as a model system. First, based on kidney perfusion experiments, we systematically derived the parameters for a CPA transport loading model, including the following:Vb = 86.0% (ra = 3.86 μm),Lp = 1.5 × 10–14m3/(N·s),ω = 7.0 × 10–13 mol/(N·s),σ = 0.10. Next, we measured the toxicity cost function model parameters asα = 3.12 andβ = 9.39 × 10–6. Combining these models, we developed an improved kidney-loading protocol predicted to achieve vitrification while minimizing toxicity. The optimized protocol resulted in shorter exposure (25 min or 18.5% less) than the gold standard kidney-loading protocol for VMP, which had been developed based on decades of empirical practice. After testing both protocols on rat kidneys, we found comparable physical and biological outcomes. While we did not dramatically reduce toxicity, we did reduce the time. As our approach is now validated, it can be used on other organs lacking defined toxicity data to reduce CPA exposure time and provide a rapid path toward developing CPA perfusion protocols for other organs and CPAs.

     
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  3. Abstract

    Cryopreservation by vitrification has far-reaching implications. However, rewarming techniques that are rapid and scalable (both in throughput and biosystem size) for low concentrations of cryoprotective agent (CPA) for reduced toxicity are lacking, limiting the potential for translation. Here, we introduce a joule heating–based platform technology, whereby biosystems are rapidly rewarmed by contact with an electrical conductor that is fed a voltage pulse. We demonstrate successful cryopreservation of three model biosystems with thicknesses across three orders of magnitude, including adherent cells (~4 µm),Drosophila melanogasterembryos (~50 µm) and rat kidney slices (~1.2 mm) using low CPA concentrations (2–4 M). Using tunable voltage pulse widths from 10 µs to 100 ms, numerical simulation predicts that warming rates from 5 × 104to 6 × 108 °C/min can be achieved. Altogether, our results present a general solution to the cryopreservation of a broad spectrum of cellular, organismal and tissue-based biosystems.

     
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  4. Abstract

    Banking cryopreserved organs could transform transplantation into a planned procedure that more equitably reaches patients regardless of geographical and time constraints. Previous organ cryopreservation attempts have failed primarily due to ice formation, but a promising alternative is vitrification, or the rapid cooling of organs to a stable, ice-free, glass-like state. However, rewarming of vitrified organs can similarly fail due to ice crystallization if rewarming is too slow or cracking from thermal stress if rewarming is not uniform. Here we use “nanowarming,” which employs alternating magnetic fields to heat nanoparticles within the organ vasculature, to achieve both rapid and uniform warming, after which the nanoparticles are removed by perfusion. We show that vitrified kidneys can be cryogenically stored (up to 100 days) and successfully recovered by nanowarming to allow transplantation and restore life-sustaining full renal function in nephrectomized recipients in a male rat model. Scaling this technology may one day enable organ banking for improved transplantation.

     
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  5. New preservation technologies may allow for organ banking similar to blood and biomaterial banking approaches. Using cryoprotective agents (CPAs), aqueous solutions with organic components such as DMSO, propylene glycol, and added salts and sugars, organs can be used to vitrify and store organs at −140 °C. When needed, these organs can be rewarmed in a rapid and uniform manner if CPAs are supplemented with iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) in an applied radiofrequency field. Speed and uniformity of warming are both IONP concentration and CPA suspension dependent. Here we present a coating method of small molecule phosphonate linker (PLink) and biocompatible polymer ( i.e. polyethylene glycol PEG) that tunes stability and increases the maximum allowable concentration of IONPs in CPA suspension. PLink contains a phosphonate 'anchor' for high irreversible binding to iron oxide and a carboxylic acid 'handle' for ligand attachment. PLink-PEG removes and replaces the initial coating layer of commercially available IONPs (EMG1200 (hydrophobic) and EMG308 (hydrophilic) Ferrotec, Inc., increasing colloidal stability and decreasing aggregation in both water and CPAs, (verified with dynamic light scattering) from minutes (uncoated) to up to 6 days. Heating properties of EMG1200, specific absorption rate (SAR), measured using an applied field of 360 kHz and 20 kA m −1 , increased from 20 to 180 W per g Fe with increasing PLink-PEG5000. PEG replacing the initially hydrophobic coating decreased aggregation in water and CPA, consistent with earlier studies on heating performance. Furthermore, although the size is minimized at 0.20 mol PEG per g Fe, heating is not maximized until concentrations above 0.43 mol PEG per g Fe on EMG1200. SAR on hydrophilic EMG308 was preserved at 400 W per g Fe regardless of the amount of PLink added to the core. Herein concentrations of IONP in VS55 (common CPA) significantly above our previous capabilities, sIONP at 10 mg Fe per mL, was reached, 25 mg Fe per mL of 308-PEG5000 and 60 mg Fe per mL of 1200-PEG5000, approaching stock EMG308 in water, 60 mg Fe per mL. Furthermore, at these concentrations cryopreserved Human dermal fibroblast cells were successfully nanowarmed (at applied fields described above), with higher viability as compared to convective rewarming in a water bath and heating rate close to 200 °C min −1 , 2.5 times faster than our current system. Using PLink as the coating method allowed for higher concentrations of IONPs to be successfully suspended in CPA without affecting the heating ability. Additionally, the model ligand, PEG, allowed for increased stability over time in nanowarming experiments. 
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  6. Abstract This study explores thermal design aspects of nanowarming-assisted recovery of the heart from indefinite cryogenic storage, where nanowarming is the volumetric heating effect of ferromagnetic nanoparticles excited by a radio frequency electromagnet field. This study uses computational means while focusing on the human heart and the rat heart models. The underlying nanoparticle loading characteristics are adapted from a recent, proof-of-concept experimental study. While uniformly distributed nanoparticles can lead to uniform rewarming, and thereby minimize adverse effects associated with ice crystallization and thermomechanical stress, the combined effects of heart anatomy and nanoparticle loading limitations present practical challenges which this study comes to address. Results of this study demonstrate that under such combined effects, nonuniform nanoparticles warming may lead to a subcritical rewarming rate in some parts of the domain, excessive heating in others, and increased exposure potential to cryoprotective agents (CPAs) toxicity. Nonetheless, the results of this study also demonstrate that computerized planning of the cryopreservation protocol and container design can help mitigate the associated adverse effects, with examples relating to adjusting the CPA and/or nanoparticle concentration, and selecting heart container geometry, and size. In conclusion, nanowarming may provide superior conditions for organ recovery from cryogenic storage under carefully selected conditions, which comes with an elevated complexity of protocol planning and optimization. 
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  7. Abstract Pancreatic islet transplantation can cure diabetes but requires accessible, high-quality islets in sufficient quantities. Cryopreservation could solve islet supply chain challenges by enabling quality-controlled banking and pooling of donor islets. Unfortunately, cryopreservation has not succeeded in this objective, as it must simultaneously provide high recovery, viability, function and scalability. Here, we achieve this goal in mouse, porcine, human and human stem cell (SC)-derived beta cell (SC-beta) islets by comprehensive optimization of cryoprotectant agent (CPA) composition, CPA loading and unloading conditions and methods for vitrification and rewarming (VR). Post-VR islet viability, relative to control, was 90.5% for mouse, 92.1% for SC-beta, 87.2% for porcine and 87.4% for human islets, and it remained unchanged for at least 9 months of cryogenic storage. VR islets had normal macroscopic, microscopic, and ultrastructural morphology. Mitochondrial membrane potential and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels were slightly reduced, but all other measures of cellular respiration, including oxygen consumption rate (OCR) to produce ATP, were unchanged. VR islets had normal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) function in vitro and in vivo. Porcine and SC-beta islets made insulin in xenotransplant models, and mouse islets tested in a marginal mass syngeneic transplant model cured diabetes in 92% of recipients within 24–48 h after transplant. Excellent glycemic control was seen for 150 days. Finally, our approach processed 2,500 islets with >95% islets recovery at >89% post-thaw viability and can readily be scaled up for higher throughput. These results suggest that cryopreservation can now be used to supply needed islets for improved transplantation outcomes that cure diabetes. 
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  8. null (Ed.)