This chapter presents an important application of the electrical conductivity measurement in cryopreservation. Long-term cryopreservation of cells and tissues is essential in both clinical treatments and fundamental researches. In order to reduce the cryo-injury to the cells during cryopreservation, cryoprotective agents (CPAs) should be added before freezing, but also removed after thawing duo to the cytotoxicity. In these steps, severe osmotic stresses may result in injuries to the cells too. Therefore, monitoring the addition and removal of CPAs to the cell samples is critical in order to prevent the osmotic injury. In this chapter, the electrical conductivity measurement was applied to assess the CPA concentration in cryopreservation. Firstly, the standard correlations between the CPA concentration and the electrical conductivity of the solutions (including CPA-NaCl-water ternary solutions and CPA-albumin-NaCl-water quaternary solutions) were experimentally obtained for a few mostly used CPAs. Then a novel ?dilution-filtration? system with hollow fiber dialyzer was designed and applied to remove the CPA from the solutions effectively. Measurement of electrical conductivity was validated as a safer and easier way to on-line and real-time monitoring of CPA concentration in cell suspensions. This work demonstrated a very important application of electrical conductivity in the biomedical engineering field.
Part of the book: Electrical Resistivity and Conductivity