The Journal of Physical Chemistry B

Ionic liquids (ILs) are a diverse class of solvents which can be selected for task-specific properties, making them attractive alternatives to traditional solvents. To tailor ILs for specific biological applications, it is necessary to understand the structure–property relationships of ILs and their interactions with cells. Here, a selection of carboxylate anion-based ILs were investigated as cryoprotectants, which are compounds added to cells before freezing to mitigate lethal freezing damage. The cytotoxicity, cell permeability, thermal behavior, and cryoprotective efficacy of the ILs were assessed with two model mammalian cell lines. We found that the biophysical interactions, including permeability of the ILs, were influenced by considering the IL pair together, rather than as single species acting independently. All of the ILs tested had high cytotoxicity, but ethylammonium acetate demonstrated good cryoprotective efficacy for both cell types tested. These results demonstrate that despite toxicity, ILs may be suitable for certain biological applications. It also demonstrates that more research is required to understand the contribution of ion pairs to structure–property relationships and that knowing the behavior of a single ionic species will not necessarily predict its behavior as part of an IL.

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Biophysical Characterization and Cryopreservation of Mammalian Cells Using Ionic Liquids

Miyah N. Awad a, Stuart J. Brown a, Amanda N. Abraham a,b, Dilek Sezer a, Qi Han a, Xiaoying Wang a,c, Tu C. Le a, Aaron Elbourne a, Gary Bryant a, Tamar L. Greaves a, and Saffron J. Bryant a

a. School of Science, College of STEM, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
b. ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
c. Digital Services, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria 3008, Australia


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