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What is the mode of action of DMSO - (Apr/17/2004 )

hey all
Iam a new user here and I have a question

What is the mode of action of DMSO and glycerol as preservatives during the freezing of the cells

Thanks in advance


DMSO prevents oxygen interaction with the liquid meniscus and also keeps the cells in a transformation efficient state when dealing with competent cells possibly by keeping the lipid layers distended. Glycerol prevents ice formation that would otherwise rupture delicate membranes-acts like an automobile antifreeze. Mycobacteria are the only bacterial cells that donot need glycerol for storage-infact glycerol is detrimental for use there.


Glycerol and DMSO prevents formation of big cristalls of water, that breakdown membrane. Also as the media begins to
freeze the salt concentration outside the cells will become greater than that in the cells and water will leave
the cells to be replaced by the DMSO or glycerol.