What Is Cryogenic Preservation

Cryogenic Preservation

Cryopreservation – Process to Protect Body from Decay

Cryopreservation is said to be a process wherein any living cells, tissues organs or the whole body is protected from decay by storing them at tremendously low temperatures. The purpose is to reserve them for unlimited period of time till the rest of science catches up and technology is made available to revive them bringing them back to life and probably cure the condition which had affected them.

Such a type of technology does not seem to exist. As per Cryonics Institute, which is an US organization that tends to provide the service, the main focus is to provide people with another chance of life and prolong the human lifespans.

However, scientists working with cryopreservation are skeptical to work on smaller scales for research purposes. Clinical senior lecturers in reproductive endocrinology at Imperial College London, Dr Channa Jayasena commented in a statement that `it is currently science fiction to suggest that a person could be brought back to life in future even considering technological advances.

 Cryonics has risks for the patients, poses ethical issue for society, and is very expensive though has no proven advantage. If this was a drug, it would never get approved.

Three Main Steps

According to the Cryonics Institute, the process tends to comprise of three main steps when someone has been declared legally dead. At first the body is instantly placed in an ice bath and a ventilation mask is utilised to provide constant oxygen to the organs of the body especially the brain.

 The anticoagulant heparin together with automated CPR is used for blood circulation while the body temperature is monitored in order to make sure of gradual reduction. Then the body is vitrified which means that the cells together with the organs are equipped for ultra-low temperature which they will encounter.

This tends to involve replacement of the fluid in the body with injected cryoprotective agents which act as an antifreeze thereby protecting the body from facing damage of being frozen.The body is now prepared for the cold, a process of controlled cooling starts and this is the concluding step before the long-term storage and slowly further cooling of the body.

Reviving/Cure/Treat – Ailment

The body is then placed in a protective insulating bag and thereafter in a cooling box wherein liquid nitrogen is fed in at a steady pace. This process takes place gradually over many days till the body reaches a temperature of -200 degrees Celsius.

Before or after the second stage, the bodies could be transported to the nearest storage facility to complete the process. When it is ready for storage, the body is placed in a liquid nitrogen vessel which is known as cryostate and these vessels do not have any electricity and hence are not affected by any power outages. Companies tend to offer the choice of cryopreservation with the belief that science, technology as well as medicine would one day be capable of reviving patients and also cure or treat the ailment which had killed them and give them another chance at life.

 The Cryonics Institute is of the belief that it would enable people to `buy time till technology is available and thus heal and restore the human body.

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