April 7, 2015

Cryopreserved Tissue’s Superiority over Dehydrated Biologics

We have long known the benefit of the use of amniotic membrane in ocular wound healing, but a study I co-authored published in the Journal of Wound Care last October brought to light the considerable differences in the structural and biological properties of cryopreserved and dehydrated amniotic tissues. 

The study, Comparison of Cryopreserved Amniotic Membrane and Umbilical Cord Tissue with Dehydrated Amniotic Membrane/Chorion Tissue, concluded that cryopreservation preserves biological properties of amniotic membrane and umbilical cord tissue essential for anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring effects while dehydration drastically alters the structural and biological integrity of this tissue.

The study directly compared the CRYOTEK® preservation method with the dehydration processing method, and intended to verify whether different processing methods might affect tissue integrity and therapeutic potential. The study concluded the following:

  • The CRYOTEK method retains the delicate native architecture of the amniotic membrane (AM)/umbilical cord (UC) extracellular matrix. Dehydration compacts the tissue, drastically altering its structural integrity.
  • The CRYOTEK method maintains the quantity and activity of key biological signaling proteins (specifically the Heavy Chain Hyaluronic Acid (HA)/Pentraxin 3 complex) present in fresh AM/UC. In contrast, dehydrated tissues lack these crucial components, instead containing low Molecular Weight HA, which certain studies suggest contributes to the inflammatory response and is immune-stimulatory. This effector molecule is responsible for promoting regenerative healing.

The results indicate that the CRYOTEK method better preserves the structural integrity and biological signaling molecules of these tissues. Further, our findings support the notion that the CRYOTEK method did not cause notable changes in the original relevant tissue characteristics of the umbilical cord/amniotic membrane matrix when compared to fresh tissue, while dehydration drastically altered the structural and biological integrity of the tissue.

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