Cell-based therapies have appeared as a budding source in the field of regenerative medicine and have shown to be promising for humans. With a growth in the use of cell-based therapies, it is normal practice to use cryopreserve or frozen cells for further use at a later date. Cryopreservation abolishes the constant need of using fresh cells or tissues and allows the use of consistent cell types. Nonetheless, cryopreservation comes up with its own challenges. The effects of cryopreservation on the coherence of cells have been studied for decades, it has been documented that cryopreserved bone marrow mononuclear cells have pros and cons of their own.

Here are various effects of cryopreservation on bone marrow mononuclear cells (MNC):

  • Cell damage: Cryopreservation has been studied for ages, and yet it can have positive and negative effects on the cells. There are various factors that can lead to injury in cells during the process of freezing. It can have varying effects on the cell viability, phenotype, and composition of the bone marrow mononuclear cells. Slow freezing of BM-MNCs can damage them either physically like like extracellular ice formation and cellular dehydration or at the molecular level i.e., effect on gene expression or protein level.
  • Cell viability: Some researches have demonstrated that long-term storage of cryopreserved bone marrow MNCs had a negative impact on the cells. It was shown that long-term freezing leads to reduced cell viability of bone marrow mononuclear cells. The cell viability of fresh cells and frozen cells were compared and it was found that fresh cells had higher cell viability.
  • Cellular composition: It has been found that cryopreservation also has the tendency to alter the composition of cells within the bone marrow mononuclear cells. It was found that the number of T cells was reduced in a cell population, while the number of natural killer cells was found to be increased proportionally. However, monocytes were not altered. It should be noted that altered composition of mononuclear cells can result in changes in preclinical studies or in clinical trials based on stem cell therapies
  • .Therapeutic efficacy: Frozen cells play a major role in the therapeutic efficacy of the cells. It has been found that frozen cells are less effective than fresh cells in therapeutics.

Cryopreservation in Stem Cell Therapy

Storage of frozen BM-MNCs has gradually evolved from being a minimal process in cell therapy to become a big tool in stem cell therapy particularly and regenerative medicine in general. Despite the changes in the composition of the cell, it has been found that the effect of frozen bone marrow mononuclear cells does not change the histological and behavioral outcomes of the cells. Ideally, cryopreserved bone marrow MNCs are important for some sequential treatments of various diseases and they play a major role in stem cell therapy. Cryopreserved bone marrow mononuclear cells have been a wide tool in stem cell therapy and are used for the treatment of ischemic heart diseases and strokes. Over the years, cryopreservation has become a key technology in regenerative medicines and has played a major role in storage for different types of cells.

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