Modification of the physical environment of the red blood cell during storage involves such factors as the type of container, above-freezing temperature, buffer, pH, anticoagulants, dehydrants, and the like. A biophysical approach which aims at accomplishing a complete suspension of degradation of the red blood cell in storage is the method of deep freeze. Red cells can be stored at —80° C. (—176° F.) or below in the presence of glycerol. The Protein Foundation in Boston and the Chelsea Naval Hospital are developing techniques for processing the frozen red cells.
In contrast to this purely physical approach to the problem of prolonging the life of the red blood cell in storage is the biochemical approach, which aims to modify or supplement the metabolism of the cell. Grant Bartlett1 analyzes the effect of nucleosides upon the life of red cell in storage. Sufficient evidence has accumulated to show that the
INFLUENCE OF GLUCOSE AND NUCLEOSIDES ON THE RED BLOOD CELL IN STORAGE. JAMA. 1961;175(8):702-703. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040080058014