Multidisciplinary Research Journal

Multiple Unfrozen Water Fractions in Biological Tissues: Freezing Point and Size

Cameron IL1*, Haskin CL2 and Fullerton GD3

1Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas  78229-3900

2School of Dental Medicine, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106

3Department of Radiology, University of Colorado, 12700 E. 19th Ave. Aurora, Colorado 80045-2507

*Correspondence E-mail:

Key Words: Water, Freezing, Tissues, Collagen

Received July 18th, 2012; Accepted May 13th, 2013; Published May 30th, 2013; Available online June 5th, 2013

Abbreviations Guide: SHM: stoichiometric hydration model, g/g: grams water per g dry mass, s: seconds, OUR: osmotically unresponsive, NMR: nuclear magnetic resonance, ESR: electron spin resonance, DSC: differential scanning colorimetry, TMJ: temporalmandibular disk, SEM: standard error of mean, ˚C: degrees centigrade.

doi: 10.14294/WATER.2013.6


This minireview deals with multiplefreezing temperatures and sizes (in gwater/g dry mass) of individual unfrozenwater fractions in biological specimens.Data were compiled from animal, plant andmicrocrystalline cellulose reports. Multiplefreezing points (FP) were reported in alleight of the samples surveyed. The freezingpoints of water fractions occurred mostfrequently at temperature intervals of -6.5,-15.0, -30.4, -74.0 and -96 ˚C. Little or noneof the total sample water content froze atthe -6.5 ˚C interval. The largest fraction oftissue water froze at about -15˚C, the nextlargest size fraction, of about 0.72 g/g,remained unfrozen until -30.4˚C. Lessersized fractions of waters remained unfrozenat variable lower temperatures. However,below a FP of -74˚C a distinct unfrozen waterfraction of 0.20 to 0.28 g/g was observedin all eight of the samples surveyed. Fivemechanisms are offered to help explain thewater fractions that remain unfrozen at thedifferent subzero temperatures.

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