The Loss of Intracellular Water during Freezing in Presence of Hydroxyethyl Starch

  • Christoph Körber
  • Klaus Wollhöver
  • Max-Werner Scheiwe


According to Mazur’s two-factor-hypothesis (Mazur 1965), the kinetics of the loss of intracellular water during freezing play a governing role concerning the survival of biological cells in suspensions exposed to low temperatures. If cooling is too slow or too fast, the cell may either be damaged by osmotical effects or intracellular ice formation, respectively, while an intermediate range of cooling rates generally yields a relative maximum in the survival curve. The absolute value of the corresponding “optimal” cooling rate is closely related to the hydraulic membrane permeability (being the limiting factor in volume shrinkage), and hence varies — in some cases orders of magnitude — from one particular type of cell to another (Rapatz et al., 1968). This qualitative interpretation of freezing injury has become widely accepted, and Mazur was also the first to give a quantitative description of the shrinkage of the cell volume due to the osmotically induced water loss resulting from freezing (Mazur 1963). In the meantime, the model has been picked up by many authors who modified and refined it in order to take into account particular aspects (e.g. Ling and Tien, 1969; Mansoori, 1975; Silvares et al., 1975; Levin et al., 1978; Hua et al, 1982). More recently, experimental results obtained by means of cryomicroscopy have been correlated with the model (e.g., Knox and Diller, 1978; Diller, 1982; Scheiwe and Körber, 1982 and 1983). The agreement is not always satisfactory, among other reasons possibly because of the rather rough approximation of the extracellular medium obeying phase diagram conditions during the freezing process while considerable deviations from equilibrium have been shown experimentally (Körber et al.,1982 and 1983).


Hydroxyethyl Starch Intracellular Water Aqueous Salt Solution Shrinkage Curve Cryoprotective Agent 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Körber
    • 1
  • Klaus Wollhöver
    • 1
  • Max-Werner Scheiwe
    • 1
  1. 1.Helmholtz-Institut für BiomedizinischeTechnik an der RWTH AachenAachenWest-Germany

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