Cryopreservation is a field that has seen significant progress in recent years. A big part of this progress came from the publishing of three landmark papers. While these papers don’t prove that the revival of cryopreserved humans is possible, they provide evidence that cryopreservation and revival in certain circumstances is feasible and opens up new possibilities for the future of human cryopreservation.
The first paper published by Fahy et. al, describes the successful cryopreservation and revival of a rabbit kidney. The kidney was preserved at cryogenic temperatures and then transplanted back into the rabbit after being brought back to body temperature. The rabbit survived, and the kidney functioned normally, showing that organs can survive the cryopreservation process. While this study shows that cryopreservation of small organs is possible, larger organs, such as human organs, still pose a challenge and more research is needed.
The second paper by Vita-More & Barranco describes the cryopreservation and revival of C. elegans, a small worm commonly used in laboratory research. The study found that the worm not only survived the process but also retained its memories. The results showed that memories encoded in the neural structure of the worm remained after revival, suggesting that it may be possible to retain human memories after cryopreservation.
Finally, the third paper by McIntyre & Fahy showed that aldehyde stabilized cryopreservation is a viable method for preserving neural tissue. This method combines aldehyde fixation with cryoprotection and was used to preserve neural tissue. The results showed that the ultra-structure of the neurons indistinguishable to a non-preserved brain when evaluated by electron microscopy. This provided evidence that aldehyde stabilized cryopreservation can preserve the structures in the brain that account for memory and personality to the best of current scientific understanding.
While these three papers do not prove that the cryopreservation and future revival of humans is possible, they do show that the individual parts required to make it possible are feasible. Cryopreservation and revival of organs and organisms have come a long way, and the future of this field is bright. There are many advancements necessary and technical problems to overcome before the revival of a cryopreserved human can be attempted, but these papers lay a foundation for the further development of the field.