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  1. Abstract

    Low-temperature biopreservation and 3D tissue engineering present two differing routes towards eventual on-demand access to transplantable biologics, but recent advances in both fields present critical new opportunities for crossover between them. In this work, we demonstrate sub-zero centigrade preservation and revival of autonomously beating three-dimensional human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiac microtissues via isochoric supercooling, without the use of chemical cryoprotectants. We show that these tissues can cease autonomous beating during preservation and resume it after warming, that the supercooling process does not affect sarcomere structural integrity, and that the tissues maintain responsiveness to drug exposure following revival. Our work suggests both that functional three dimensional (3D) engineered tissues may provide an excellent high-content, low-risk testbed to study complex tissue biopreservation in a genetically human context, and that isochoric supercooling may provide a robust method for preserving and reviving engineered tissues themselves.

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  2. Abstract

    In this work, we present an extensive comparative study between novel titanium nitride nanoparticles (TiN NPs) and commercial gold nanorods (GNR), both dispersed in water and exposed to a pulsed laser‐induced cavitation process. The optical density, shockwave emission, and bubble formation of these solutions were investigated using shadowgraphy, spatial transmittance modulation, and acoustic measurements. TiN nanoparticle solutions exhibited high stability undser a periodic nanosecond pulsed‐laser irradiation, making these nanomaterials promising agents for high‐power applications. In addition, they demonstrated a stronger nonlinear absorption compared to the GNR solutions, and plasma formation at lower laser energies. This study advances our understanding of the optical properties of TiN and discusses significant differences compared to gold, with important implications for future applications of this material in water treatment, nonlinear signal converting, and laser‐induced cavitation for medical implementations, among others.

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  3. Abstract

    To extend the preservation of donor hearts beyond the current 4–6 h, this paper explores heart cryopreservation by vitrification—cryogenic storage in a glass‐like state. While organ vitrification is made possible by using cryoprotective agents (CPA) that inhibit ice during cooling, failure occurs during convective rewarming due to slow and non‐uniform rewarming which causes ice crystallization and/or cracking. Here an alternative, “nanowarming”, which uses silica‐coated iron oxide nanoparticles (sIONPs) perfusion loaded through the vasculature is explored, that allows a radiofrequency coil to rewarm the organ quickly and uniformly to avoid convective failures. Nanowarming has been applied to cells and tissues, and a proof of principle study suggests it is possible in the heart, but proper physical and biological characterization especially in organs is still lacking. Here, using a rat heart model, controlled machine perfusion loading and unloading of CPA and sIONPs, cooling to a vitrified state, and fast and uniform nanowarming without crystallization or cracking is demonstrated. Further, nanowarmed hearts maintain histologic appearance and endothelial integrity superior to convective rewarming and indistinguishable from CPA load/unload control hearts while showing some promising organ‐level (electrical) functional activity. This work demonstrates physically successful heart vitrification and nanowarming and that biological outcomes can be expected to improve by reducing or eliminating CPA toxicity during loading and unloading.

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Magnetic properties such as coercivity, remanence and saturation magnetization will determine the area enclosed by the hysteresis loop of a magnetic material, which also represents magnetic heating. Nanowarming of cryopreserved organs is a new application for magnetic heating using nanoparticles. In this paper, isolated Ni MNW of different sizes and shapes are studied via micromagnetic simulation to explore the optimization of heating using individual MNW. Ellipsoidal MNWs with small (30nm) diameters turn out to be most promising in heating ability due to their large hysteresis area and their potential to distribute uniformly in an organ that is being heated. In addition to optimized heating, a special switching pattern of magnetic moment was also observed for cylindrical large (200nm) MNW. This special switching pattern can trigger applications such as quantum computing. 
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  7. Abstract 3D bioprinting is a fabrication method with many biomedical applications, particularly within tissue engineering. The use of freezing during 3D bioprinting, aka "3D cryoprinting," can be utilized to create micopores within tissue-engineered scaffolds to enhance cell proliferation. When used with alginate bioinks, this type of 3D cryoprinting requires three steps: 3D printing, crosslinking, and freezing. This study investigated the influence of crosslinking order and cooling rate on the microstructure and mechanical properties of sodium alginate scaffolds. We designed and built a novel modular 3D printer in order to study the effects of these steps separately and to address many of the manufacturing issues associated with 3D cryoprinting. With the modular 3D printer, 3D printing, crosslinking, and freezing were conducted on separate modules yet remain part of a continuous manufacturing process. Crosslinking before the freezing step produced highly interconnected and directional pores, which are ideal for promoting cell growth. By controlling the cooling rate, it was possible to produce pores with diameters from a range of 5 μm to 40 μm. Tensile and firmness testing found that the use of freezing does not decrease the tensile strength of the printed objects, though there was a significant loss in firmness for strands with larger pores. 
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