Research continues on several "biophysical" parameters which can influence the survival of the human red cell under conditions of blood-bank storage, for example, the type of container, above-freezing temperature, buffer, pH, anticoagulants, dehydrants, etc. While supplying worthwhile information for improvement in the art of blood-banking, these approaches do not at the present appear destined to yield any major extension of red cell life.
Another biophysical approach, the complete suspension of degradative changes by deep freeze, has led to recent notable advances. There is now no question that red cells can be stored at —80 C or below in the presence of glycerol for months or even years, and be thawed under appropriate conditions to give an essentially normal post-transfusion lifespan. Rapid progress is being made in the development of techniques for processing the frozen red cells, particularly through the combined efforts of the Protein Foundation in Boston and the Chelsea