Xeroprotectants for the stabilization of biomaterials

Biotechnol Adv. Nov-Dec 2012;30(6):1641-54. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.07.002. Epub 2012 Jul 17.


With the advancement of science and technology, it is crucial to have effective preservation methods for the stable long-term storage of biological material (biomaterials). As an alternative to cryopreservation, various techniques have been developed, which are based on the survival mechanism of anhydrobiotic organisms. In this sense, it has been found that the synthesis of xeroprotectants can effectively stabilize biomaterials in a dry state. The most widely studied xeroprotectant is trehalose, which has excellent properties for the stabilization of certain proteins, bacteria, and biological membranes. There have also been attempts to apply trehalose to the stabilization of eukaryotic cells but without conclusive results. Consequently, a xeroprotectant or method that is useful for the stable drying of a particular biomaterial might not necessarily be suitable for another one. This article provides an overview of recent advances in the use of new techniques to stabilize biomaterials and compare xeroprotectants with other more standard methods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology*
  • Biotechnology
  • Desiccation / methods*
  • Preservation, Biological / methods*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Protective Agents