Supercooling of aqueous solutions is a fundamentally and practically important physical phenomenon with numerous applications in biopreservation and beyond. Under normal conditions, heterogeneous nucleation mechanisms critically prohibit the simultaneous long-term (> 1 week), large volume (> 1 ml), and low temperatures (< −10 °C) supercooling of aqueous solutions. Here, we report on the use of surface sealing of water by an oil phase to significantly diminish the primary heterogeneous nucleation at the water/air interface. We achieve deep supercooling (down to −20 °C) of large volumes of water (up to 100 ml) for long periods (up to 100 days) simultaneously via this approach. Since oils are mixtures of various hydrocarbons we also report on the use of pure alkanes and primary alcohols of various lengths to achieve the same. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of deep supercooling via preliminary studies on extended (100 days) preservation of human red blood cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)