Lots of human tissue is frozen, from blood to embryos.
But the size and complexity is constrained by ice crystals that form when frozen. Crystals can damage and even destroy a cell.
Researchers use what’s called a cryoprotectant, like the stuff you put in a car to stop the radiator water from freezing to reduce that damage. But cryoprotectants are toxic.
Now, Adam Higgins with Oregon State University says they’ve developed a new way of using cryoprotectants, “The way to reduce toxicity is to intentionally cause the cells to swell, but not swell too much," he said.