Cell Thawing: An Elegant Solution to a Longstanding Problem

Cell Thawing: An Elegant Solution to a Longstanding Problem

As the cell therapy industry comes of age, standardized thawing of cryopreserved cells will likely become a necessity. Image credit: MedCision

This is our third of three posts in a special interview series with Brian Schryver, MedCision co-founder and VP of product development.

As we discussed last week, until now there has been very little focus on the final stage of the cryopreservation workflow – cell thawing. A review of the scientific literature shows that in contrast to the literally thousands of papers devoted to optimizing freezing techniques, there are surprisingly few on the biophysical aspects of cell thawing. That being said, it has been acknowledged since the 1970s that thawing rates affect cell viability. So why the discrepancy?

In the final part of our 3-part series we discuss why no one else has tackled this problem, and how MedCision is uniquely positioned to be able to help researchers in standardizing cell thawing with the release of the automated cryogenic vial cell thawing system “ThawSTAR®

We asked MedCision’s VP of Product Development Brian Schryver the following:

Q1. Why has no one else done this, despite the fact that the literature shows it’s been a concern for over 30 years?

All those skilled in the art (as our patent attorney likes to say) will recognize the degree to which craftwork has been historically embedded into the arena of biologics. In most processes with biologics, the skills and experience of the individual become the mortar that binds together the steps of a protocol. All scientific progress is built on the hard work of those who came before. When encountering a seemingly simple process such as melting a sample, one falls back on a combination of training and diligence to properly execute the steps. Naturally, there will be variance from individual to individual, and while sometimes the impact may be insignificant, at other times it will be critical. Undeniably, the industry is maturing, and technology is maturing with it. Many of the therapeutics of the future will be based on living cells. A trusted, safe, reliable, and standardized means to execute these “simple” steps of the cryogenic preservation process will be an absolute necessity for the success of the industry. 

Q2. What is unique about MedCision that allows them to tackle this and be successful in their design?

Everyone at MedCision has a long history of working in some aspect of the tissue culture, cell engineering, molecular biological, pharmaceutical, biomedical, or medical fields. We know where many of the more frustrating aspects of research are by experience, and naturally receive a vicarious gratification from bringing optimized solutions to these problems to our fellows in the community. I would not for a moment discount the motivating aspect of that buzz, and those we work with on the outside feel the same level of personal investment and reward. This often creates a breeder-reactor for cycles of interactive inquiry and innovation between ourselves and the scientific and medical community. The designs we produce are the natural outcome of this unique and highly productive situation.

Q3. How can I get my hands on ThawSTAR cell thawing system, and will you be releasing any other formats e.g cryobags, different size vials, etc in the foreseeable future?

To find out more about ThawSTAR, how to use it and how to pre-order, please visit our product page. The basic technology of ThawSTAR affords us a solid base from which to build additional cell thawing formats to service all our customers. We see the future, and are excited to have the foundation upon which to build it.

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