DIY Cryogel Sustains Live Cells

We like to think our readers are on the cutting edge. With the advent of CRISPR kits at home and DIY bio blooming in workshops across the world, we wanted to share a video which may be ahead of its time. [The Thought Emporium] has just shown us a way to store eukaryotic cells at room temperature. His technique is based on a paper published in Nature which he links to from the YouTube page, but you can see his video after the break.

Eukaryotic cells, the kind we are made of, have been transported at low temperatures with techniques like active refrigeration, liquid nitrogen, and dry ice but those come with a host of problems like cost, convenience, and portability. Storing the cells with cryogel has been shown to reliably keep the cells stable for up to a week at a time and [The Thought Emporium] made some in his homemade freeze-dryer which he’s shown us before. The result looks like a potato chip, but is probably less nutrious than astronaut ice cream.

If cell transport doesn’t tickle your fancy, cryogel is fascinating by itself as a durable, lightweight insulator similar to Aerogel. You can make Aerogel at home too.

19 thoughts on “DIY Cryogel Sustains Live Cells

  1. “We like to think our readers are on the cutting edge. With the advent of CRISPR kits at home and DIY bio blooming in workshops across the world, we wanted to share a video which may be ahead of its time.”

    Then on Facebook we get to watch a real-life Andromeda Strain.

    1. And then comments like this remind us that we are not so far ahead of our time and instead are infected with the same Luddite superstitions as the rest of the population.
      For someone in a home lab to engineer something which can actually survive in the wild let alone out-compete the native life which has evolved for billions of years is quite unlikely. To think that they are going to go several steps beyond that and engineer something that survives not only the challenges of the outside world but also the human immune system is just ludicrous.
      Stop worrying and go make something already!

        1. Yes they will. Science will become an occult practice of magic (again?). And magicians will be prosecuted. Nuff fantasy to support this. Been too long on the ‘logic’ road and we’re in dire need of some medieval ages.

        1. Even if some puritanical lunatic did manage to engineer and release a biological weapon intended to wipe out all us sinners it probably wouldn’t work.

          The much hyped dangers of biological and chemical ‘WMDs’ are mostly boogie-man stories for the intellectually challenged. Unlike high velocity projectiles and explosive devices, they are relatively easy to defend against.

          Even without treatment it wouldn’t kill all of us. We humans are remarkable resilient.

          The good example is the introduction of smallpox to South America by Cortes and/or Navares. Despite its virulence and the native population’s lack of any resistance, it ‘only’ wiped out about half the population in more densely populated areas. Much less than that elsewhere.

          A comparable example would be bubonic plague in Europe. A particularly virulent and surprisingly lethal variation of Y. Pestis which killed almost a third of the population of Europe during the 14th century.

      1. What will be next? A CEO showing live a cure for herpes? A youtube minion solving lactose intolerance to eat pizza? A facebook live streaming of muscule enhancement treatment? A fps Racoon city T-virus craze?

      2. Home labs can have better equipment than the labs that allegedly created chimera bio-weapons given the advancements in DNA manipulation compared to the 60-80’s.

        Luddite? I wonder what we should call people like you.

  2. But WHY does it work? Is this like candy for the cells or does it provide some sort of physical support? I’m thinking it’s the second, as the freeze-drying process would leave an extremely porous medium.

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