Cryopreservation is an essential part of tissue banking and effective cryopreservation methods are critical for the development of cost-effective cell therapy products. Cell sheets are an attractive subset of cell therapy types, and cryopreservation has the potential to further drive down costs of allogeneic cell sheet therapy. This is currently a challenge as adhered cell monolayers are more susceptible to membrane damage during the freezing process. In this article, we investigate the performance of a surface-modified dressing for the cryopreservation of cells and strategies to improve cell recovery. Cryopreservation of multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPC®) was performed on cells following their attachment to a surface for different periods of time. MAPC cells, given just 1 h to attach, washed off and were not recovered on the surface following thawing. Cells attached for longer periods, elongated further, and were more susceptible to damage from cryopreservation. A temporal window was identified that could allow cryopreservation on adherent surfaces where cells had attached to a surface without full elongation. By functionalizing the surface with coupled hyaluronic acid, cell spreading was initially retarded, thereby widening this temporal window. This approach demonstrates a novel method for enhancing the recovery of cryopreserved cell sheets on surfaces.

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