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Department for Cryoprotectants
Research Fellows:

The Department is headed by Dr. Antonina M. Kompaniets, DSc (Biol), Senior Research Fellow. Major trend of the research is set to be a systemic study of cryoprotectants, search, forecast and creation of novel cryoprotective compounds. We use the approach consisting in investigating the homologous series of the substances: polyols, amides and their derivatives, products of direct synthesis; revealing the character of correlation between cryoprotective activity, cytotoxicity, toxicity of compounds from one hand and their chemical structure and physical properties on another hand.

Head of the Department
Antonina M.Kompaniets
DSc (Biol)
Senior Research Fellow

To forecast the cryoprotective activity of chemicals we have offered the methods for their primary screening based on studying and mathematical modeling of the dependence: "cryoprotective activity: structure of the substance" using regressive and correlation analysis methods.

We are seeking the ways for creating the new cryoprotectants using chemical modification of the known compounds. As the main method for a direct synthesis of polymers with the supposed cryoprotective activity we use oxyalkylation of compounds in polyols and amides series, which is known to influence the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance of a molecule and its basicity. Ethylene glycol and glycerol representing the class of polyols serve as initial monomers for oxyethylation. The molecules of cryoprotectants-polyols (amino-, imino-, galoid-, alkyl derivatives), modified by substitutes of different origin, at selecting the proper oxyalkylation conditions enable us to obtain the substituted analogues of polyethylene oxide and glycerol rows.

The major part of Department's activity is devoted to scientific trend related to the investigation of phase transitions and the control ways of in combined cryobiological systems, effect of cryoprotectants, membranotropic, biologically active compounds on these processes, which in general are multicomponent cryoprotective media (cryoprotectants) which enable to optimize the technique for low temperature preservation of various cell suspensions and tissues.

As a result of the investigations conducted within this topic there have been obtained the novel data on the mechanism and control method using re-crystallization processes such as "crystal-crystal", "glass-phase-crystal" (vitrification-devirtification) in the media with different cryoprotectants, carbohydrates additives, proteins, superficial-active substances and other components. There was noted an important role in the processes of crystal formation of the phenomena of initial overcooling of biological systems, influencing the cryopreservation efficacy of certain biological objects. We elaborated the ways and methods for controlling the start of the process of water-ice phase transition, which were successfully use at low temperature preservation of human platelets, bird sperm, fish etc.

A long-term trend of the Department work was set to be low temperature preservation of blood cells (red cells, platelets). We elaborate the ways to create the method for red cells cryopreservation with the cryoprotectants not requiring the removal from cell suspension prior to transfusion. Jointly with the Cryobiophysics Department there was elaborated the method for red cell cryopreservation with 1.2-propane diol ("Propandiosakharol" cryoprotectant), which was found to be more efficient than the known methods for red cell cryopreservation with glycerol. The method was clinically tested and is applied at the NIS cryobanks. Great attention is paid to working-out the method for human platelets cryopreservation for the clinical use.

We also study the effect of various cryoprotectants on an organism's physiological parameters of animals and objects of plant origin. We established thus the possibility of the series of substances to reduce the dynamic plasm and whole blood viscosity at normo- and hypothermia of homoiothermal animals, to normalize an aqueous-saline balance at brain edema-swelling caused by craniocerebral injury of traumatic and cold origin, etc. Basing on the investigations performed there was created the original osmodiurrhetic therapeutic preparation with no "ricochet" side effect characteristic for many known osmodiurrhetic means. The preparation was widely tested in leading clinics of Ukraine, Russia and NIS, obtained a high positive assessment of independent experts and was recommended for the application in medical practice.

At the department we study the compositions containing the cryoprotectants and biologically active substances for rising the resistance of homoiothermal animals to a deep cooling.

As a result of profound studies we proved the possibility and reasonability to use cryoprotectants as the agents increasing resistance of plants to low temperatures (resistance to freezing and winter colds), there was revealed the stimulating effect of some cryoprotectants on germination rate and growing capacity of seeds, vegetating forms of many agricultural plants, as well as their ability to promote keeping the quality of fruit at long term storage. We have elaborated and patented the combined preparations ("Dorsaj", "Yupiter", "Mars-U"), which are known to promote the resistance of many agricultural plants to the effect of extreme factors (frosts, drought).

Creation of the cryopreservation methods for meristemas, pollen of various plants in order to preserve their gene fund is set to be one more trend of investigation. We elaborated the effective methods for cryopreservation of wheat, corn and soy seeds, grape and potatoes meristemas.


23, Pereyaslavskaya str., Kharkov, Ukraine 61016
Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Tel: +380 57 373 4143,   373 3807,   373 3039;     Fax: +380 57 373 3084
E-mail: cryo@online.kharkov.ua