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2014 Abstracts

High-frequency ultrasound study of excised tissue cryopreserved via simple sugars

Logan Warner, Utah Valley University

Life Sciences

High-frequency ultrasound (20-80 MHz) has been found to be sensitive to a range of pathologies in excised breast tissue before fixation in formalin or other formaldehyde analogues. Formalin fixation, however, may alter the structure and rigidity of a sample so that data gathered using high-frequency ultrasound after fixation may no longer be viable for research purposes. This limits the amount of time researchers may conduct tests, so preservation via simple sugars is being considered. Numerous studies have been conducted using sucrose, trehalose, or glucose as cryoprotectants for cells and simple tissues. The objective of this study was to test the sensitivity of high-frequency ultrasound to changes in the microstructure, stiffness, and cellular integrity of tissue samples due to cryopreservation with these sugars. Domestic pig heart tissue was placed in aqueous solutions of sucrose, trehalose, and D-(+)-glucose. The specimens were refrigerated and observed over time using high-frequency ultrasound to detect tissue damage. The results of this study suggest that cryopreservation with sugars will not only allow more time for researchers to conduct ultrasonic tests on surgical specimens, but also that high-frequency ultrasound could potentially be used as an assay to measure tissue degradation in preserved living tissues such as transplant organs.