The Illustrated Lab
Scientific Illustration by Jennifer Colquhoun

Cyropreservation of Neurons

Working with Tilo Kunath at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, I created a simple illustrated schematic for his recent research into freezing neural cells for Parkinson’s patients.

Super Cool Schematics

The Client: Tilo Kunath, Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (Centre for Regenerative Medicine)

The Brief

The client wanted a simple, clean schematic which would aid in visualising the procedure for recent, as yet unpublished, research looking into the viability of neurons following cryogenic preservation. The schematic needed to show the procedure, highlighting the use of the Via Freeze Duo which freezes the cells at a constant rate. The client then wished to show the procedure for counting the live and dead cells following thaw.

The attached vs floating (dead) cells once thawed and plated

The cells in their vials

The final schematic

Initial rough for the schematic

Rough after initial revisions

The ViaFreeze Duo, used to freeze the cells at a steady rate

The Outcome

Since the figure would be published as an online article, we decided to utilise a vector graphic style, to aid with clarity in the schematic. An unusual option for me, but I really enjoyed the challenge of simplifying each of the elements, and retaining my style even through the basic graphics.