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  1. 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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  2. 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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