CPT discovered and experimentally proved the mechanism of xenon action on a variety of biological cells, where it prevents cells from reacting to external stimuli and delays apoptotic cascade
Xenon is a noble gas, but in high concentrations it has biological effects. It has been approved for use in inhaled anesthetic mixtures in Europe
The biophysical mechanism is involved due to xenon’s ability to decrease the viscosity of the extracellular membrane
CPT technology influences the metabolic processes of biological cells using the unique properties of xenon. As investigations into the biological activity of xenon progress, its potential for application in technological innovation grows.
Xenon gas (Xe) is considered to be biologically inert in small concentrations. However, at concentrations of 15% and higher, it is used in inhaled anesthesia mixtures in Europe. As an anesthetic it has no side effects, unlike alternative anesthetic mixtures (such as those that are NO2 -based).
The mechanism of Xe action on mammalian cells is currently under investigation. It is proposed that Xe affects calcium channel mediated physiological functions as well as the physical characteristics of the external cellular membrane. Xe influences membrane permeability due to its atom size and its characteristically high solubility in lipids. CPT research demonstrates that xenon's activity on cells is characterized by at least two distinct mechanisms:
- Xe influences calcium ion movement through L-type Ca2+channels in the external cellular membrane and the membranes of the mitochondria. This inhibits the downstream function of certain apoptotic pathways. This effect has been confirmed not only in platelets, but also in nucleated cells.
- Xe also decreases the viscosity of the extracellular membrane by decreasing the number of membrane rafts, which leads to fewer regions in the membrane for clustering/expression of certain cell receptors occur, e.g. the GPIb receptor.
This exciting avenue of research has the potential to lead to improvements in the storage and preservation protocols of a variety of types of cells and tissues, as well as possible incorporation into common therapeutic regimens. Some possible additional applications currently under investigation are in:
- The storage of stem cells, sperm and monocytes
- The storage and preservation of entire biological tissues and organs
- The storage of cultured cell lines