Why Don't We Have Cryosleep Yet?

Why don’t we have cryosleep yet? You know, freezing people and waking them up later. Turns out, the problem is WATER.

Our bodies are filled with water. But when water freezes, it expands and forms sharp crystals. If we froze you right now, those ice crystals would shred ya to bits from the inside! To freeze you without shredding you, we’d need to replace most of that water with special antifreeze – and cool it all down quickly and evenly, turning that antifreeze mixture solid in a process called “vitrification,” end effectively pausing your body in time.
But unfortunately, you’re the wrong shape. Right now you’d either end up full of warm toxic antifreeze, or full of frozen deadly crystals. The math just doesn’t work yet. But the math DOES work for tiny cells like human eggs and embryos.

If you want to know how this actually works, watch our longer video about egg freezing. And if you like optimistic science and tech stories, subscribe for more of our show Huge If True.

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