CryonicsCryonics is the practice of storing human bodies in a deep freeze state in hopes that they can be revived sometime in the future. The mentality of scientists who practice cryonics is that if a human being dies of an incurable disease today, the body can be frozen until a cure is found. At that time, the body would be thawed, revived and treated. This type of preservation is called, “cryonic suspension.”

It is against the law to put a human being who is alive into a state of cryonic suspension. Before this can be done, the person must be declared legally dead by a physician or coroner, which means that the heart has ceased to beat. This doesn’t mean the person is totally dead, because the brain may still be active. When the person is placed in a state of cryonic suspension, brain cell function continues. This means that the legally dead body can be revived at a future date.

Performing Cryonics

Have you ever thought of being preserved by cryonic suspension? If so, you have to become a member of a cryonic facility. Annual membership cost approximately $400.

At the time a physician or coroner states that you’re legally dead; when your heart ceases to beat, an emergency response team (ERT) stabilizes your body and supplies your brain with sufficient blood and oxygen to keep it functioning until you reach the cryonics facility. The ERT also packs your body in ice and administers the anticoalagulant, Hyperin by injection. Herapin prevents your blood from clotting or congealing while your body is taken to the cryonics facility.

When you arrive at the facility, a medical cryonics team is ready to induce your body into a state of cryonic suspension by removing all water from your cells. This step is imperative. If your body was submerged in a vat of liquid nitrogen without removing the water, the cells would shatter because of expansion when freezing took place.

The water from your cells is replaced with cryoprotectant, which is made up of a glycerol chemical mixture. It does much the same as antifreeze in a car radiator. It prevents your body organs and tissue from crystallizing at the extremely low temperature that is necessary to induce a state of cryonic suspension. Vitrification, as it is called, is the process of deep cooling without freezing. This induces body cells into a complete state of suspended animation.

After your body water is replaced with cryoprotectant, it is placed on dry ice until it reaches a temperature of minus 132 degrees Celsius, which is 202 degrees Fahrenheit. When the proper temperature has been reached, vitrification is complete.


Now it’s time for your body to be placed in a container and put into a metal tank that contains liquid nitrogen. The temperature inside the metal tank that contains the liquid nitrogen is minus 196 degrees Celsius or minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit. The body is placed head down in case of a tank leak. This assures that your head will always remain submerged in the liquid nitrogen.


Cryonics is a very expensive procedure. To have your entire body preserved, you will pay over $150,000. If you think this is a bit pricey, you can choose to have only your brain preserved. This procedure is known as neurosuspension. Scientists hope that in the future there will be sufficient knowledge and technology to clone the rest of the body so the brain can be surgically placed in the skull of the clone.

Who Has Been Preserved?

Hundreds of people have chosen to take advantage of cryonic suspension and their bodies are stored in various facilities. The best known of these is probably baseball star, Ted Williams. However, there is no technology available at this time to revive these bodies. Critics of cryonics say the process is a scam and the cryonic researchers and medical teams admit that this technology will not be available anytime soon. The problem is that if the body isn’t properly unthawed at exactly the right speed, the cells will be turned into ice crystals and shatter.

Revived Organisms

Though humans have not been revived from cryonic suspension, other living organisms have been. These include human embryos that have been frozen at fertility clinics, thawed and implanted in the mother’s womb. This procedure has a high success rate and babies have been born healthy and without birth defects.

The Latest Technology

Cryonic scientists are now working on new technology known as “nanotechnology,” which is the use of microscopic equipment that will be able to maneuver tiny pieces of organisms and allow rebuilding and repair of human cells and tissues. The hope among scientists is that one day in the future, nanotechnology can be used to repair any damage to cells that is done in the process of cryonic suspension and to stop the process of aging and disease.


Many groups and individuals are critical of cryonics, as they feel it goes against nature and that the reversing of the process might cause mutants. Others feel that if they can undergo cryonic suspension that they have found the secret to immortality.