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Multifunctional Photo- and Magnetoresponsive Graphene Oxide–Fe3O4 Nanocomposite–Alginate Hydrogel Platform for Ice Recrystallization Inhibition

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posted on 13.03.2019, 00:00 by Yuan Cao, Muhammad Hassan, Yue Cheng, Zhongrong Chen, Meng Wang, Xiaozhang Zhang, Zeeshan Haider, Gang Zhao
Tuning ice recrystallization (IR) has attracted tremendous interest in fundamental research and a variety of practical applications, including food and pharmaceutical engineering, fabrication of anti-icing coating and porous materials, and cryopreservation of biological cells and tissues. Although great efforts have been devoted to modulation of IR for better microstructure control of various materials, it still remains a challenge, especially in cryopreservation, where insufficient suppression of IR during warming is fatal to the cells. Herein, we report an all-in-one platform, combining the external physical fields and the functional materials for both active and passive suppression of IR, where the photo- and magnetothermal dual-modal heating of GO–Fe3O4 nanocomposites (NCs) can be used to suppress IR with both enhanced global warming and microscale thermal disturbance. Moreover, the materials alginate hydrogels and GO–Fe3O4 NCs can act as IR inhibitors for further suppression of the IR effect. As a typical application, we show that this GO–Fe3O4 nanocomposite–alginate hydrogel platform can successfully enable low-cryoprotectant, high-quality vitrification of stem cell-laden hydrogels. We believe that the versatile ice recrystallization inhibition platform will have a profound influence on cryopreservation and tremendously facilitate stem cell-based medicine to meet its ever-increasing demand in clinical settings.