On November 20th last year, Prof. Dr. R.H. Henning from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, gave an interesting TEDx talk about hibernation and its importance for human medicine. TEDx Groningen just recently released the video of this inspiring talk ‘Is human hibernation possible?
Sulfateq BV has a close working relationship with the University of Groningen, especially with Prof. Dr. R.H. Henning and his team, which led to the succesful development and synthesis of effective chemical compounds that can enhance protective processes for human cells and tissue; the so-called ‘SUL-compounds’. One of these compounds is effective in our preservation additive ROKEPIE®.
Hibernation and ROKEPIE® – what’s the connection?
In the video Prof. Rob Henning talks about the fact that during his years as an anaesthesiologist, he became intrigued by the protective mechanisms that occur during the hibernation period of hibernating mammals. He became a scientist and during the past five years, Prof. Henning has dedicated his time to research these protective processes and the underlying mechanism.
Henning’s research reveales that hibernators make specific compounds to protect their cells and tissue during hibernation. And additional protective mechanisms are activated by lowering their body temperature. It seems that this magical mix of specific compounds & cooling does the trick to protect the body of hibernators against fat, cold, starvation and inactivity.
His research showed that these compounds work in non-hibernators too, including human cells. Inspired by this knowledge, Sulfateq BV, in cooperation with Prof. Henning and his team, started the development of chemical compounds with the same protective efficacy and Sulfateq succeeded in synthesizing these so-called ‘SUL-compounds.’
One of these compounds has been used in our hypothermic preservation additive ROKEPIE®-S01 that is available for the Research & Development market to store or transport cells and tissues at 2-8° C.