The Sci-Fi future that we thought was so far away is actually nearing and becoming more of a reality everyday. As seen in the animation show Futurama where our young protagonist Fry get frozen in a container and later he gets thawed out one thousand years later into the future, this type of freezing all though maybe not as long is looming among us. We turn to look at this concept becoming more reliable in the field of medicine when it comes to with organs for organ transplants.
One of the main problems with organ transplants is essentially like with food, organs outside of the body have a certain “Shelf life”. Because of this we are losing many organs and money trying to keep these organs only to have them lost. Part of the problem is when chilling organs the problem isn’t chilling them, but getting them rewarmed to use them in a quick manner because ice particles will form if they aren’t unfrozen fast enough and the organ will be lost. Apparently at the University of Michigan have created an innovative way to help increase the viability of the organs.
A solution of silica with iron coated nanoparticles seem to be the answer. Essentially how it works is that they would freeze the organs in a process called vitrification where theoretically the organs would be viable for an eternity and when you need to use them, they would use an electromagnetic field, and through the electromagnet waves the nanoparticles would be excited which is called inductive heating. And since the problem is with getting the whole organ heated, they would have the nanoparticles equally but well dispersed and because of this the whole organ would be heated at the same time.
They scaled this and tested with this up to 50 milliliters which brought back a pig’s artery but that is really far from a whole heart. They are planning to do with Rat kidneys but there is still so much to do. The other problem occurs because since the heart has many valves and chambers, dispersing them equally will be harder than a more compacted organ like a kidney so thats one obstacle they need to get around. Although we are a long way away from freezing full bodies like Fry from Futurama, we are getting closer to a future of full cryopreservation.