Advances and Barriers

CURRENT ADVANCES AND REMAINING BARRIERS

We want to take the successful cryopreservation of sperm, embryos, oocytes, stem cells, etc., to whole human internal organs. Significant advances have been made toward the successful cryopreservation of organs by vitrification. For instance, 21st Century Medicine has for instance vitrified a rabbit kidney to -135 C and cooled several others to -45 C rewarmed them and successfully transplanted it into a rabbits, with complete functionality and viability, able to sustain the rabbits as the sole functioning kidneys.

While there still are problems with respect to chilling damage, crystallization, cryoprotectant toxicity, efficacy and hazard of warming methods, the progress to date provide strong evidence that the successful vitrification of whole organs—large animal and human—is audacious but achievable.

Today the field of cryopreservation is vastly under resourced and bears the marketing and public relations burden of related disciplines, including cryonics.  As a result, only a few companies are working to solve the challenges of organ cryopreservation, despite its tremendous opportunity to revolutionize the world of organ transplantation and regenerative medicine.