Published 17. 02. 2023
IEM CAS and Bioinova company obtained patent protection for "The agent for cryopreservation of human or animal cells" based on the decision of the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic.
According to Mgr. Yuriy Petrenko, Ph.D. from the Dept. of Neuroregeneration, one of the authors of the patented invention, the main benefit of using the patented device is the possibility of cryopreservation and long-term storage of stem cells (especially mesenchymal stem cells) at temperatures ranging from -18 °C to -196 °C. Stem cells preserved in the agent can be applied directly to the patient after defrosting without the need to wash the substance, either alone or with a carrier. The new cryopreservation agent comprises biocompatible compounds and can be used directly to apply the stem cells frozen therein.
Stem cells are highly valued in the biopharmaceutical industry due to their multipotent potential. Their limited ex vivo lifetime is currently addressed by cryopreservation, i.e. deep freezing to temperatures of -18 °C to -196 °C. Deep-frozen stem cells can be used whenever needed, and their lifetime is extended by several years in this state.
A key step in the whole process of freezing stem cells is the solution in which the cells are stored. Its composition is crucial for the final properties of the cells after thawing. From the point of view of the biopharmaceutical industry and current rules for the use of cells for therapeutic purposes, it is desirable that thawed cells can be directly injected into the patient without the additional steps of washing or centrifugation of the cells. This fact places great demands on the composition of the solution, particularly regarding the safety of the individual components contained in the solution. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol or glycerol are commonly used for the cryopreservation of cells.
Trehalose has been shown to be a very stable and safe component of cryoprotective solutions. Trehalose, a disaccharide of glucose, is synthesized by many organisms when exposed to stress, cold, high temperatures or desiccation; it is known as an anti-stress factor. Trehalose, unlike DMSO, does not cross the cell membrane and protects cells extracellularly during freezing by slightly dehydrating the cells.
More information can be found in the official document (available only in Czech).