Intracellular trehalose improves the survival of cryopreserved mammalian cells

Ali Eroglu, Michael J. Russo, Robert Bieganski, Alex Fowler, Stephen Cheley, Hagan Bayley, Mehmet Toner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

358 Scopus citations


We report that the introduction of low concentrations of intracellular trehalose can greatly improve the survival of mammalian cells during cryopreservation. Using a genetically engineered mutant of Staphylococcus aureus α-hemolysin to create pores in the cellular membrane, we were able to load trehalose into cells. Low concentrations (0.2 M) of trehalose permitted long-term post-thaw survival of more than 80% of 3T3 fibroblasts and 70% of human keratinocytes. These results indicate that simplified and widely applicable freezing protocols may be possible using sugars as intracellular cryoprotective additives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Cryopreservation
  • Fibroblasts
  • Keratinocytes
  • Trehalose
  • α-toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this

Eroglu, A., Russo, M. J., Bieganski, R., Fowler, A., Cheley, S., Bayley, H., & Toner, M. (2000). Intracellular trehalose improves the survival of cryopreserved mammalian cells. Nature Biotechnology, 18(2), 163-167.