The aim of this study was to evaluate how a simple method of cryopreservation influences the quality of CD34+ cells in umbilical cord blood (UCB). The cells were dispensed into a double-compartment freezing bag, cryopreserved at -85 degrees C without a rate-controlled programmed freezer, and stored in the liquid phase of nitrogen. The viability of the CD34+ cells before freezing and after thawing was assessed by flow cytometry with 7-aminoactinomycin D and by colony-forming assays. Twenty UCB units cryopreserved for a median of 92 days were analyzed. Mean CD34+ cell viabilities before freezing were 99.8% +/- 0.4% and after thawing were 99.5% +/- 0.8% in large chambers, 99.6% +/- 0.5% in small chambers, and 99.4% +/- 0.6% in sample tubes. The mean values from colony-forming assays of the viable CD34+ cells before freezing were 30.7 +/- 6.8 (colony-forming units-granulocyte-macrophage [CFU-GM] per 100 viable CD34+ cells) and 68.5 +/- 14.8 (total CFUs per 100 viable CD34+ cells). The CFU-GM and total CFU values after thawing were, respectively, 32.7 +/- 9.0 and 66.0 +/- 13.4 in large chambers, 32.4 +/- 8.1 and 64.5 +/- 16.1 in small chambers, and 30.9 +/- 5.4 and 64.7 +/- 12.4 in sample tubes. The results of the colony-forming assays before freezing and after thawing were not significantly different. Our findings overall indicated that our simple method for the cryopreservation of UCB cells without a rate-controlled programmed freezer does not impair the clonogenic capacity of UCB progenitor cells. This cryopreservation method could provide cellular products adequate for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
International Journal of Hematology 02/2007; 85(1):78-84. DOI:10.1532/IJH97.06147 · 1.68 Impact Factor