Scientists, including from the University of Minnesota, have devised a way to thaw frozen tissues without damaging the cells within them with the help of nanoparticles. The researchers have manufactured silica-coated nanoparticles containing iron oxide. In a study, when scientists applied a magnetic field to the nanoparticle suffused frozen tissues, the nanoparticles were able to generate rapid and uniform heat.
With the heat, the tissue samples warmed up with this method about 10 to 100 times faster than methods earlier used. Researchers have clinically tested this method on frozen sections of pig arteries, parts of pig heart valves, and human skin cells. The rewarmed tissues did not display signs of damage from the heating process and it was also observed that physical properties of the cells, such as elasticity, were preserved. Researchers were able to properly wash the nanoparticles away from the samples after warming.