New anti-freezes preserve transplant organs better

January 1st, 2009 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Jan 1 (IANS) A new approach developed by chemists will produce more effective anti-freeze fluids for preserving kidneys, hearts, and other organs meant for transplantation. These next-generation anti-freezes can decrease damage to organs caused by ice crystals and prolong the time a donated organ will remain viable prior to transplantation. This could increase the number of available organs for potential recipients.

Robert N. Ben and colleagues noted that the growth of ice crystals is a major cause of damage to cells, tissues and organs during cryopreservation, which leaves them unusable for transplantation.

To address this challenge, the researchers developed synthetic anti-freeze materials, called C-linked anti-freeze glycoprotein analogues (C-AFGP). These proteins contain a sugar coating and have custom-tailored antifreeze activity.

Now the scientists describe the development of “hydration index” that can be used to more reliably predict how prospective anti-freeze materials will behave, said a release of American Chemical Society.

Their index provides a clearer picture of how water molecules interact with the sugar component (as well as native AFGP) and affect their chemical behaviour. This is a key to understanding their ability to resist the formation of ice crystals when chilled.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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