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Direct Numerical Simulation of Micro-Scale Interaction Between Ice and Biological Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
L. Mao, H. S. Udaykumar

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

J. O. M. Karlsson

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. IMECE2002-32679, pp. 79-87; 9 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advances in Bioengineering
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3650-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


The freezing of biological material, such as cells and tissue, duing cryopreservation involves the interaction of ice in the extracellular medium with living cells. This cell-ice interaction critically determines the success of the cryo-preservation protocol, as measured by cell survival and viability after the freeze-thaw process. This paper presents numerical simulations of the response of a cell to freezing. The phase change of the aqueous salt solution outside the cell is computed using a sharp-interface technique. The cell is modeled as a salt solution enclosed by a semi-permeable membrane. We compute the concentration and temperature fields around a single cell in the presence of extracellular ice formation. Parametric variations in the factors affecting the cell-ice interaction are performed to describe the physics of thermo-solutal transport of the interaction. Cell water loss is quantified. The external ice front is computed for both stable and unstable (cellular/dendritic) growth modes. The results show that water egress from the cell is dependent on several controlling parameters in complex ways.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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