Scientists have found a way to thaw organs after cryopreservation

Although doctors have learned to transplant organs to people to replace those lost, the transplantation industry itself is monstrously flawed. Experts estimate that 60% of all donated hearts, lungs and kidneys are utilized in the United States. The fabrics become rotten, irrevocably deteriorate after several hours of being in a container with ice, therefore it is almost unrealistic to organize efficient logistics on the scale of a large country.

The best solution for preserving something previously alive is cryopreservation, cooling to a temperature of -80º to -190ºC. The leading method in this field is called "vitrification" and allows you to turn the liquid in living cells into a kind of super-viscous glass mass, instead of a solid. And if we take a conditional single small sample, 1 ml in volume, then it is easy to heat it up without damaging the structure. Alas, this does not work with solid, large organs.

That is, we can freeze and store as many donor organs as we like, but we do not know how to safely unfreeze them for their intended use. Scientists from Minnesota seem to have found a solution to this difficult problem. They proposed a process called "nano-heating" - the simultaneous transfer of heat to each microscopic area of ​​the heated tissue sample.

Instead of a heat oven, they use metal powder - tiny particles of iron coated with silicon dioxide. If you place this mixture in a magnetic field, it will begin to heat up, and evenly throughout the volume. All you need to do is to introduce the correct solution into living tissues before freezing, so that later quickly, within a minute, you need to warm it up without the risk of damaging individual cells.

The technology has been successfully tested on samples with a volume of 50 ml, and even 80 ml, but we are talking about a single layer of tissue - scientists do not yet know how to work with the complex structure of whole organs. They are delighted that the warming up method turned out to be scalable and, in the long term, it will be possible to preserve and defrost at least the whole person. Plus, the remains of the iron solution can be easily washed out of the test samples. But this is a task for the distant future - while scientists are glad that they were finally able to unfreeze any large fragment of living flesh without damage. And now they are aiming at a piece with a volume of 1 liter.