Finite-Difference Model of Cell Dehydration During Cryopreservation
Carnevale, Kevin A.
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A numerical model for describing the kinetics of intracellular water transport during cryopreservation was developed. As ice is formed outside the cell, depleting the extracellular liquid of water, the cell will experience an osmotic pressure difference across its membrane, which causes cell dehydration and concomitant shrinkage. Although Mazur (1963) has previously modeled this phenomenon as a two-compartment system with membrane limited transport, the assumption of well-mixed compartments breaks down at large Biot numbers. Therefore, we have developed a numerical solution to this moving-boundary problem, including diffusive transport in the intracellular liquid, in addition to the osmotically driven membrane flux. Our model uses a modified Crank-Nicolson scheme with a non-uniform Eulerian-Lagrangian grid, and is able to reproduce predictions from Mazurs model at low Biot numbers, while generating novel predictions at high Biot numbers. Given that cell damage may result from excessive water loss, our model can be used to predict freezing methods that minimize the probability of cell injury during the cryopreservation process.