Employees of the University of Leipzig (Germany) have proved the possibility of reversible slowing of biological processes in living cells without freezing. Slow down the biological time of cells, writes onlinelibrary.wiley.com, managed to use “heavy” water.
Researchers, whose group led by Dr. Jorg Snauss and Professor Joseph Alfons Kass, immersed biomaterial in deuterium oxide (“heavy” water), and found active interaction between some structural proteins. The scientists noted that “heavy” water provokes something like protein adhesion, a process that can be reversed if the cell is transferred to a normal aqueous environment.
“Deuterium oxide can slow the migration and multiplication of cells – including malignant cells. Stronger hydrogen bonds provoke viscous intramolecular dynamics, meaning that ‘heavy’ water slows the biological clock of cells,” said Dr. Jörg Schnauss.
The authors of the study noted that the discovery can have different practical applications. For example, “heavy” water can be used for longer-term storage of internal organs intended for transplantation. The problem of storing biological samples is one of the key problems in transplantology – the experts noted, adding that deuterium oxide can improve the situation.