“ Following sample extraction, continued enzymatic activity begins to rapidly degrade specimens, resulting in the alteration or deterioration of cellular structure. Rapid freezing, also known as “snap” or “flash” freezing, instantaneously halts all cellular processes and preserves specimen integrity to its current agonal state, allowing the capture of dynamic biological events for study without fear of significant morphological artefacts. Rapid freezing of tissue also prevents water expansion and crystal formation, which result in irreparably damaged “swiss cheese” tissue with lost cellular contents. After proper “flash” freezing, tissue must be stored at temperatures exceeding -80°C to preserve DNA, RNA, and protein integrity. However, if properly frozen and stored, specimens can be kept indefinitely, allowing delayed experimental assessment and full utilization of the sample.”

Dr. Kirsten Schoonover Neurobiologist for EITD.