Frozen in Time: Preserving for Later Revival

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues & Innovations
GBH Forum Network webinar, January 09, 2024

Mehmet Toner, PhD, Helen Andrus Benedict Professor, Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Dr. Toner is also Professor of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health & Sciences Technology.

Innovations in bioengineering are revolutionizing medicine. Tissues, organs, sperm/eggs can now be preserved in several different ways for future use. Methods include specialized forms of supercooling, vitrification (especially for eggs), and drying. Many of the models for these developments come from nature: organisms that transition to frozen or dehydrated states for extremely long periods –and then revive. Mehmet Toner is an international pioneer in this field. Here, he describes the significance of the preservation-revival research and the different methods that will save lives and restore health.