What is Cryobiology?

The word cryobiology literally signifies the science of life at icy temperatures. In practice, this field comprises the study of any biological material or system (e.g., proteins, cells, tissues, and organs, insects, seeds or plant embryos) subjected to any temperature below their normal range (from moderate hypothermia or over-wintering conditions, down to deep cryogenic temperatures).

Applications of cryobiology include:

  • Preservation of cells and tissues for purposes of long-term storage
  • Cryosurgery, a minimally invasive approach for destruction of unhealthy tissue
  • Lyophilization (freeze-drying) of pharmaceuticals
  • The study of cold-adaptation of plants and animals.