Critics often maintain that, in addition, the intra-cellular water (inside the cells) freezes to the extent that the cells actually burst from the inside out.Cryonicists, however, claim this is simply an oft-repeated myth with no basis in fact.Various "anti-freeze" chemicals, typically glycerol, are pumped into the organs before the process starts, in order to minimize the inter-cellular ice formation.
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A person held in such a state (either frozen or vitrified) is said to be in cryonic suspension.
Barring social disruptions of their suspension arrangements, a suspended person is expected to remain physically viable for a period of about 10,000 years, after which time cosmic ray damage is thought to be irreparable.
Probably the most famous cryonically frozen patient is Ted Williams.
The popular urban legend that Walt Disney was cryonically frozen is false (he was cremated, and interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery).
Likewise Robert Heinlein, often said to be cryonically frozen, was cremated and his ashes distibuted over the Pacific ocean.
Cryonics has been largely dismissed by the mainstream cryobiology community, of which it is arguably a part.The reason generally given for this dismissal is that the freezing process creates ice crystals, which do irreparable damage to the cells and cellular structures, making any future repair simply impossible.Cryonicists, on the other hand, claim that cryobiologists routinely exaggerate the extent of this damage.The debate (which has been loud, hostile and sometimes ugly) may have taken a turn in 2000, when a major cryonics organization claimed to have virtually eliminated ice crystal formation, and hence the major source of freezing damage, using a technique called vitrification.First, let us examine the situation pre-2000, before the announcement concerning vitrification.As a side effect of the traditional cryonic cooling process, cell damage (irreversible by current technology) is caused by ice crystals forming in the regions between cells.