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Published April 2014 | Published
Journal Article Open

A ferromagnetic model for the action of electric and magnetic fields in cryopreservation


Recent discussions in the literature have questioned the ability of electromagnetic exposure to inhibit ice crystal formation in supercooled water. Here we note that strong electric fields are able to disrupt the surface boundary layer of inert air on the surface of materials, promoting higher rates of heat transport. We also note that most biological tissues contain ferromagnetic materials, both biologically precipitated magnetite (Fe_3O_4) as well as environmental contaminants that get accidentally incorporated into living systems. Although present at trace levels, the number density of these particulates is high, and they have extraordinarily strong interactions with weak, low-frequency magnetic fields of the sort involved in claims of electromagnetic cryopreservation. Magnetically-induced mechanical oscillation of these particles provides a plausible mechanism for the disruption of ice-crystal nucleation in supercooled water.

Additional Information

© 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. Received 29 July 2013; 16 Accepted 3 December 2013; Available online 12 December 2013. Statement of funding: As this is an analysis of biophysical theory, it was not funded directly by any external source. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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