Effective techniques for the cryopreservation of human Adipose Stem Cells (ASCs) could increase the usefulness of these cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The traditional method of using fetal calf serum (FCS) and a chemical cryoprotectant like dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) during freezing storage restricts the direct use of ASCs in regenerative medicine and reconstruction surgery. The objective of this study was to investigate the apoptotic, necrotic and viability response of ASCs frozen/thawed in the presence of a high molecular weight polymer, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and in the absence of FCS. Post-freeze/thaw studies were also conducted to evaluate the effect of PVP on the in vitro osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of ASCs. The results were compared with those obtained using the most commonly used cryopreservation media of 10%DMSO + 10% Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Media (DMEM) + 80%FCS.

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