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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Controlled-rate freezing of human ES cells.

A significant obstacle to using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) arises from extremely poor survival associated with freezing, typically in the range of 1%. This report describes a slow controlled-rate freezing technique commonly used for mammalian embryo cryopreservation. Using a combination of surviving colony number and colony diameter; survival was determined relative to untreated hESCs. Using a dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) cryoprotectant and either a homemade controlled-rate freezing device or a commercial freezing device, survival rates of 20%-80% were obtained. To achieve the highest levels of survival, the critical factors were an ice crystal seed (at -7 degrees to -10 degrees C), a freeze rate between 0.3 degrees and 1.8 degrees C/min, and a rapid thaw rate using room temperature water. Slow controlled-rate cooling allows a rapid, simple, and reproducible means of cryopreserving hESCs.[1]


  1. Controlled-rate freezing of human ES cells. Ware, C.B., Nelson, A.M., Blau, C.A. BioTechniques (2005) [Pubmed]
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