Boar sperm on ice with a side helping of blueberries

Cell Preservation Technology
November 24, 2006

The word "cell" in the title of the journal Cell Preservation Technology (CPT) immediately eliminates possible confusion with preservation technologies for old buildings and ancient sites. But the title does not reflect the contents of the published work: there are more papers addressing preservations of various tissues and vaccines.

The editor-in-chief explains the scope of "preservation science" in the maiden issue of 2002. It includes "dry-state preservation (anhydrobiosis), hypothermic maintenance, cryopreservation (with and without ice), gel encapsulation, 'room temperature' glasses, ex vivo maintenance, etc". This peer-reviewed journal emphasises system preservation, cellular and molecular mechanisms, preservation states, preservation engineering-bioprocessing, optimisation protocols, natural systems models, and ethical, legal and regulatory considerations. The editorial team, which comprises four section editors and almost 40 members, consists of leading researchers in the field.

CPT has several unique features. The journal is divided into five sections: "From the editor's desk"; "White paper"; "Frontiers in clinical research"; "Review" and "Original papers". Each issue kicks off with an article from the editor-in-chief expounding on a particular topic, ranging from intellectual property, to peer review systems and stem-cell research.

"Frontiers in clinical research" reports more clinically relevant data and results compared with the fundamental research reported in "Original papers". Themes in the "White paper" section include patent strategy and intellectual property issues, although I doubt if subscribers will ever read them for anything other than leisure or reference. In the first two volumes, there are several fantastic reviews, including "Natural hypothermic preservation: The mammalian hibernator", by Kenneth Storey; "Molecular mechanisms of cellular demise associated with cryopreservation failure", by John M. Baust; "Selective cryotherapy", by Andrew Gage; and "Engineering challenges in tissue preservation", by Bumsoo Han and John Bischof. They certainly added value to the journal and boosted its impact factor.

In 2003, CPT became the official journal of the International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER). The first issue of 2005 devotes 48 pages to "Best practices for repositories I: Collection, storage and retrieval of human biological materials for research", which one should surely be able to get from the ISBER website. Is this a sign that the journal was short of high-quality papers, or was it simply putting an emphasis on its new role? The journal does reflect trendy research: there are a few articles in volume three (2005) addressing the cryopreservation of stem cells. An article titled "The effect of blueberry extracts and quercetin on capacitation status of stored boar sperm" has a certain reader appeal.

Viewing the rapid development in tissue engineering and stem-cell technology, such a journal, addressing the preservation of live products, is much welcomed. If you are desperately short of cash, at least get the review articles. They are excellent value for money.

Zhanfeng Cui is professor of chemical engineering and director, Oxford Centre for Tissue Engineering and Bioprocessing, Oxford University.

Cell Preservation Technology

Author - John G. Baust
Publisher - Mary Ann Liebert
Pages - Four times a year
Price - Institutions $562.00 (print and online), $482 (print only). Individuals $420.00 (print only)
ISSN - 1538 344X

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