Polarized light scanning cryomacroscopy, part I: Experimental apparatus and observations of vitrification, crystallization, and photoelasticity effects.

Cryobiology

PubMedID: 27343138

Feig JS, Eisenberg DP, Rabin Y. Polarized light scanning cryomacroscopy, part I: Experimental apparatus and observations of vitrification, crystallization, and photoelasticity effects. Cryobiology. 2016;.
Cryomacroscopy is an effective means to observe physical events affecting cryopreservation success in large-size specimens. The current study aims at integrating polarized-light in the study of large-size cryopreservation, using the scanning cryomacroscope as a development platform. RESULTS
of this study demonstrate polarized light as a visualization enhancement means, including the following effects: contaminants in the CPA solution, crystallization, fracture formation, thermal contraction, and solute precipitation.In addition, photoelasticity effects are used to demonstrate the development of residual stresses and the potential for stress relaxation above the glass transition temperature. Furthermore, this study suggests that the ability to periodically switch between non-polarized light and polarized light is an essential feature of investigation. When using polarized light for example, a dark region may represent a free-of-stress and free-of-crystals material, or fully crystallized material, which may potentially experience mechanical stress; switching to a non-polarized light would help to distinguish between the different cases. The analysis of thermo-mechanical stress in cryopreservation is essentially based on four key elements: identification of physical events, knowledge of physical properties, thermal analysis of the specimen, and description of the mechanical behavior of the cryopreserved material (also known as the constitutive law). With the above knowledge, one can investigate the conditions to preserve structural integrity. While the current study aims at identification of physical events, critical knowledge on physical properties and mechanical behavior has already been developed in previous studies. The companion manuscript (Part II) aims at providing means for thermal analysis in the specimen, which will serve as the basis for a multi-scale analysis of thermo-mechanical stress in large-size specimens.