Eur. Phys. J. AP
Volume 16, Number 3, December 2001
|Page(s)||231 - 238|
|Section||Physics of Energy Generation, Conversion and Storage|
|Published online||15 December 2001|
Numerical simulation of the interaction of biological cells with an ice front during freezing
Université de Bretagne Sud, Centre de Recherche, BP 92116, 56321 Lorient, France
2 IUSTI (UMR CNRS 6595), 5 rue Enrico Fermi, 13453 Marseille Cedex 13, France
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 18 July 2001
Accepted: 20 July 2001
Published online: 15 December 2001
The goal of this study is a better understanding of the interaction between cells and a solidification front during a cryopreservation process. This technique of freezing is commonly used to conserve biological material for long periods at low temperatures. However the biophysical mechanisms of cell injuries during freezing are difficult to understand because a cell is a very sophisticated microstructure interacting with its environment. We have developed a finite element model to simulate the response of cells to an advancing solidification front. A special front-tracking technique is used to compute the motion of the cell membrane and the ice front during freezing. The model solves the conductive heat transfer equation and the diffusion equation of a solute on a domain containing three phases: one or more cells, the extra-cellular solution and the growing ice. This solid phase growing from a binary salt solution rejects the solute in the liquid phase and increases the solute gradient around the cell. This induces the shrinkage of the cell. The model is used to simulate the engulfment of one cell modelling a red blood cell by an advancing solidification front initially planar or not is computed. We compare the incorporation of a cell with that of a solid particle.
PACS: 44.05.+e – Analytical and numerical techniques / 87. – Biological and medical physics / 81.10.-h – Methods of crystal growth; physics of crystal growth
© EDP Sciences, 2001
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