Cryo-electron microscopy: An electron microscopic technique that involves freezing the biological sample in order to view the sample with the least possible distortion and the fewest possible artifacts. Abbreviated as cryo-EM.
In cryo-EM, the freezing of the sample is done in ethane slush to produce vitreous, or non-crystalline, ice. The frozen sample grid is then kept at liquid nitrogen temperature in the electron microscope and digital micrographs are collected with a camera.
The advantages of cryo-EM over traditional EM techniques include the preservation of the sample in a near-native hydrated state without the distortions from stains or fixatives needed for traditional EM. With image processing and averaging of multiple images, cyro-EM provides high resolution information (below 10 anstroms).
Cryoglobulin: An abnormal blood protein that has the unusual properties of precipitating from the blood serum when it is chilled (hence the “cryo-“) and redissolving when it is rewarmed. Cryoglobulins are gamma globulins with a molecular weight of approximately 200,000. Cryoglobulins can cause problems by causing the blood to be abnormally “thick” which increases the […]
Cryoglobulinemia: The presence in blood of abnormal proteins called cryoglobulins that have the unusual property of precipitating from the blood serum when it is chilled and redissolving upon rewarming. Cryoglobulins can increase the risk of blood clots forming in the brain (stroke), eyes, and heart. Cryoglobulins can also cause inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), which […]
Cryophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of cold, including cold weather and cold objects. Sufferers from cryophobia experience anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. To avoid cold, they may live in a warm climate, dress more warmly than necessary, stay indoors on cold days, and avoid cold foods and ice cubes. “Cryophobia” […]
Cryopreservation: The process of cooling and storing cells, tissues, or organs at very low temperatures to maintain their viability. For example, the technology of cooling and storing cells at a temperature below the freezing point (‘196’ C) permits high rates of survivability of the cells upon thawing.
Cryoprobe: A surgical probe, a long slender pointed surgical instrument, used to apply extreme cold to tissues. From cryo- from the Greek kryos meaning cold + probe.