Cell therapies that are temperature-sensitive are changing the landscape of clinical care, so continuous cold chain management has now become critical in the delivery of treatments to patients.
Cold chain management comprises three key phases: cooling, storage, and thawing. Thawing errors for a potentially lifesaving therapy could compromise treatment efficacy and significantly impact patients, costs, and a product developer’s reputation.
This guide to cell thawing reviews the science of thawing using conventional, slow freezing approaches. Topics include how cell thawing historically developed into the techniques utilized today, the biological and physical implications of key components and metrics, study evaluations from scientific literature, and a consideration of the cooling and warming rates interactions related to cell and gene therapies.
Ice-free cryopreservation, or vitrification, a specialized method unsuitable for most cell therapies and cryobags, is not considered here.