Timeline of brain preservation

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This is a timeline of brain preservation.

Brain preservation is the attempt to preserve a human or non-human animal with the hope that partial or complete resuscitation may be possible in the future.

Cryonics is the most popular method of brain preservation, and preserves individuals using low-temperature. But other methods are being used and developed as well, notably fixation, and a combination of both called aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation.

Alternative names for brain preservation include biostasis and neural archiving.

Often confused with cryonics, suspended animation (or anabiosis) is a distinct practice where a patient body would remain biologically intact, and could be reanimated without the need to deeply repair the brain, or transfer its information to another substrate.[1] However, improvements in suspended animation would also improve the quality of cryopreservations given a patient could be maintained alive at lower temperature before undergoing the damaging cryonics procedure. So this timeline also includes some important milestones with regards to suspended animation.

Trends

Popularity

Interests

The following graph shows the relative popularity of web searches on the topic of cryonics on Google.

Cryonics worldwide popularity per month (Google Trends).png

The following graph shows the number of views the Wikipedia page "Cryonics" had every day since July 2015. Note that the y-axis is logarithmic, with 5 main peaks.

Cryonics pageviews wikipedia.png

Patients

The first people to start advocating for cryonics emerged in 1962, and the first preservation happened 4 years later. From 1966 until 1973, of the 17 attempts at freezing, only one person remained cryopreserved[2] (hence the bumps at the beginning of the curve in the graph below). Consequently, the "pay-as-you-go" funding model was abandoned by the cryonics community as relatives had shown to generally eventually lose interest in paying maintenance fees. From then onward, the number of cryopreservations would grow exponentially, but to this day still represent a trivial amount in comparison to the number of burials and cremations. Since cryonics was first publicized, an estimated 2.9 billion people have died,[3] which could represent about 2.7% of humans to have ever lived.[4] As of January 2019, 416 people are known to be cryopreserved.

The following graph shows a history of the number of bodies preserved (complete or neuro-only). Given that the quality of preservations varies a lot, and it can often take many hours or even days before someone gets preserved from the time of their clinical death,[5][6] the graph below represents an upper bound of the number of people that are preserved: some have probably been irreversibly lost, and some might only have been partially preserved. Given that we don't currently know how effective current preservation methods are, the lower bound for the number of people that have been preserved remains 0.

Number of people preserved over time.png

Members

Memberships statistics can be tricky to track for a couple of reasons:

  • Lack of present data: some organizations don't publicize their membership statistics
  • Lack of historical data: some organizations only started tracking their membership statistics later in their history
  • Lack of cryonics membership data: the Cryonics Institute stopped publicizing the number of their members that are fully-funded since 2015, and now only reports the number of members they have; some are also members only for other of their services, such as DNA preservation
  • Dual memberships: some cryonicists are members of more than one organization, often to support several organizations, or as a fall-back for themselves if one organization was to fail in some ways.

Alcor is the only large cryonics organization that has tracked the number of fully-funded members it has had since its beginnings.[7] All Alcor members are subscribed to standby services. The Cryonics Institute has tracked the number of members it has signed up with standby services since it started offering it in 2006.[8] It also has a lot of members that are signed up but plan to use the services of a funeral director for transport – this number is however unknown to the public. The graph below tracks those two numbers. The recent growth has been pretty linear. However, given that there are more and more cryonics organizations, worldwide cryonics memberships is likely growing exponentially.

Number of members 2019-01.png

Cost

Alcor and the Cryonics Institute are the main cryonics providers that have existed for decades.[note 1] Alcor has been adjusting its prices according to the Consumer Price Index (which has been lower than medical inflation), while the Cryonics Institute has maintained its initial price. The first graph below shows the nominal cost charged by the organization, while the second graph shows the real cost (that is inflation adjusted) of various cryonics services.

While the graphs start in 1976, it is worth noting that before 1982, Alcor was contracting Trans Time for its storage services, and the Institute for Advanced Biological Studies for its stabilization services. Also, besides Ettinger's mother and wife, the first patient of the Cryonics Institute was preserved in 1991.

A direct comparison between the prices of different organizations is difficult because of the different services provided, and different types of payments. For example, Alcor has an annual membership fee and has surcharges for late-minute cases. Some of the reason for Alcor's higher price than the Cryonics Institute includes the cost of stabilization and transport, as well as being more financially conservative by putting more money aside in a patient care trust.

The graphs below show the price of cryonics for whole-body and / or neuro-only as offered by Alcor[9][10], the Cryonics Institute[11], OregonCryo[12], KrioRus[13]. The second graph has prices inflation adjusted in 2018 USD.

Historical cost of cryonics.png

Historical cost of cryonics, inflation adjusted.png

Big picture

Time period Development summary
1897-1961 Early cryobiology research starts, and reaches one of the first important success by cryopreserving human sperms by 1961.

During that time, the idea of cryonics is conceived by various people; presumably independently from each other. In 1901, Porfiry Ivanovich Bakhmetyev suggests using the phenomenon of anabiosis to prolong human life, to “travel to the future”. In 1931, Neil R. Jones writes a story about someone preserved in orbit because of the cold temperature. In 1948, Robert Ettinger publishes a story explaining the idea of cryonics. In 1962, Evan Cooper publishes "Immortality: Physically, Scientifically, Now" and coins the slogan "freeze, wait, reanimate".

1960-1966 The first cryonics activists start grouping and developing the capabilities to perform cryopreservations. They have difficulty finding a first person interested in receiving the procedure.
1966-1975 Early cryonics organizations struggle to maintain their patients in liquid nitrogen. Out of 22 cryopreservations done during that period, only 3 would remain preserved to this day [2019].
1976-1990 The two cryonics organizations that have provided continuous service for the longest time and have the most members are created in 1976. They would slowly grow during the following years.
1991-2000 The Cryonics Institute preserves their third patient in 1991 – the first two being relatives from the founder, Robert Ettinger. Alcor and the Cryonics Institute start getting more members and patients.
2001-2018 Alcor starts using a vitrification solution in 2001, and the Cryonics Institute follows in 2004. Some CT scans analyzed in 2018 by Mike Darwin would reveal that Alcor member Fred Chamberlain III, cryopreserved in 2012, was the first patient that was demonstrated to have their brain cryopreserved essentially ice-free. In 2015, 21st Century Medicine wins a prize from the Brain Preservation Foundation for having demonstrably preserved the connectome of a pig with a technique combining vitrification and fixation.

Full timeline

The events in the timeline are sometimes classified in the following categories, types and sub-types.

Categories:

Types:

  • General Progress:
    • Futurism, fiction
    • Science
    • Technological development (ie. engineering, research and development)
    • Technological adoption (ie. commercialization)
    • Quality assessment
  • Societal context:
    • Social
    • Legal
    • Risk management
  • Organization Progress

Sub-Types:

  • Science, technological development, technological assessment: nature, theory, cold, cryonics, cryoprotection, vitrification, toxicity, vitrifixation, field cryoprotection, fixation, intermediate storage temperature, fracturing
  • Social:
    • Event: festival, meeting, conference
    • Writing: newsletter, communication, textbook, journal, paper, open letter, email list, fiction, blog
    • Other: groups, bylaws
  • Legal: cryopreservation, life insurance, right-to-die, classification
  • Organization: founding, milestone, status
  • Risk management: natural catastrophes, economic stability

You can click on the header to sort the events by categories, types or subtypes.

Date Category Type Subtype Organisation or individual Event
1773-04 cryonics futurism Benjamin Franklin In a letter to Jacques Dubourg, Benjamin Franklin says: "I wish it were possible ...to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But ... in all probability, we live in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection ...".[14]
1883-04-15 cryogenics technological development cold Jagiellonian University Nitrogen is liquefied by Zygmunt Wróblewski and Karol Olszewski.[15]
1897 cryobiology science Porfiry Ivanovich Bakhmetyev Porfiry Ivanovich Bakhmetyev starts studying the phenomena of anabiosis during overcooling of animals.
1901 cryonics futurism Porfiry Ivanovich Bakhmetyev In his essay “The Recipe for Survival to the 21st Century” (“Natural Science and Geography”, 1901), Porfiry Ivanovich Bakhmetyev suggests using the phenomenon of anabiosis to prolong human life, to “travel to the future”.[16]
1931-07 cryonics social fiction Robert Ettinger Robert Ettinger reads Neil R. Jones' newly published story, "The Jameson Satellite",[17], in which a professor has his corpse sent into earth orbit where it would remain preserved indefinitely at near absolute zero (note: this is not scientifically accurate), until millions of years later, when, with humanity extinct, a race of mechanical beings discovers, revives, and repairs him by transferring his brain in a mechanical body.[18]
1936 reanimatology organization founding Negovsky Negovsky founds the first resuscitation research laboratory in the world. In 1986 his laboratory would be renamed Institute of Reanimatology of the USSR (since 1991 of the Russian) Academy of Medical Sciences. This marks the inception of both reanimatology (resuscitation medicine) and critical care medicine both of which would be crucial to the credibility of cryonics paradigm.[19]
1938 cryobiology science vitrification Goetz, Goetz Alexander Goetz and S. Scott Goetz publish a paper discussing vitrification and crystallization of organic cells at low temperatures.
1940 cryobiology science Basil Luyet, Marie Pierre Gehino Basil Luyet and Marie Pierre Gehino publish "Life and Death at Low Temperatures", the book which marks the beginning of cryobiology as a formal area of study. In this landmark work, they document the survival of a wide variety of cells and some tissues after ultra-rapid cooling to -194.5°C providing that ice formation in the tissue is inhibited by vitrification due to the ultra-rapid cooling.[20]
1940s cryogenics technological development cold Liquid nitrogen becomes commercially available.[21]
1947 cryogenics social Polge, Smith, Parkes Robert Ettinger, while in the hospital for his battle wounds, discovers Jean Rostand research in cryogenics.[22]
1948 cryobiology technological development vitrification Polge, Smith, and Parkes discover the cryoprotective effects of glycerol and publish a paper documenting the successful hatching of chicks from fowl sperm cryopreserved with glycerol.[23]
1948-03 cryonics social fiction Robert Ettinger Robert Ettinger publishes the story The Penultimate Trump, in which the explicit idea of cryopreservation of legally dead people for future repair is promulgated. This story was written in 1947.[24]
1950-05 cryobiology technological development vitrification Luyet, Gonzales Luyet and Gonzales achieve successful vitrification of chicken embryo hearts using ethylene glycol.[25]
1954-06 suspended animation science nature Smith et al. Smith et al., demonstrate the ability of golden hamsters to recover and survive long term following the freezing of ~60% of the water in their brains and the survival a full recovery of hamsters cooled to -5°C.[26]
1959-05 cryobiology technological development vitrification Lovelock, Bishop Lovelock and Bishop discover the cryoprotective properties of dimethyl sulfoxide (Me2SO). Me2SO would subsequently become a mainstay of most experimental vitrification solutions used in organ preservation.[27]
1960 cryonics social communication Robert Ettinger Robert Ettinger expected other scientists to advocate for cryonics. Given that this still hasn't happened, Ettinger finally makes the scientific case for cryonics. He sends this to approximately 200 people whom he selected from Who's Who in America, but got little response.[17]
1960s cryonics organization founding Cryo-Care Equipment Corporation Cryo-Care Equipment Corporation[note 2] in Phoenix, Arizona is founded by Ed Hope. These freezings would be advertised as being for cosmetic purposes rather than eventual reanimation, though the cryonics issue would naturally arise.[note 3][2]
1961 cryobiology technological development cryoprotection Lovelock, Bishop By 1961 the work of Lovelock and Bishop is rapidly extended to other animal sperm, including human sperm, and glycerol is also shown to be an effective cryoprotectant for both red cells and many nucleated mammalian cells.[28]
1962 reanimatology science Vladimir A. Negovsky Vladimir A. Negovsky publishes his landmark book, "Resuscitation and Artificial Hypothermia".[29][19]
1962 cryonics social book Evan Cooper Evan Cooper publishes "Immortality: Physically, Scientifically, Now" under the pseudonym Nathan Duhring.[30] He coins the immortal "freeze, wait, reanimate" slogan.[31][32]
1962 cryonics futurism Robert Ettinger Ettinger privately publishes a preliminary version of The Prospect of Immortality, in which he makes the case for cryonics.[17]
1962 cryonics social meeting About 20 people attend the first informal cryonics meeting.[30]
1962 cryonics social group Evan Cooper After the first cryonics meeting, Cooper and a few other individuals form the Immortality Communication Exchange (ICE), an informal, "special-interest group" for the "freeze and wait" idea that would later be known as cryonics.[30]
1964 cryonics organization founding Life Extension Society During the conference, the Life Extension Society, the first cryonics organization, is founded by Evan Cooper. It would be situated in Washington, D.C.[32]
1963-12-29 cryonics social conference The first cryonics conference happens.[30][33]
1964 cryonics futurism Robert Ettinger Robert Ettinger's The Prospect of Immortality finally attracts the attention of a major publisher, Doubleday, which sends a copy to Isaac Asimov; Asimov says that the science behind cryonics is sound, so the book is published. The book becomes a selection of the Book of the Month Club and is published in nine languages. Ettinger becomes a media celebrity, discussed in many periodicals, television shows, and radio programs.[17]
1964-01 cryonics social newsletter Life Extension Society The first issue of the Life Extension Society Newsletter is published.[30][33]
1965 cryonics social Karl Werner Karl Werner coins the word "cryonics".[34]
1965 cryonics organization founding Cryonics Society of New York The Cryonics Society of New York (CSNY) is founded by Saul Kent, Curtis Henderson and Karl Werner. CSNY is a non-profit organization contracting with the for-profit organization Cryospan for cryonics freezing and storage.[34][35]
1965-03 cryobiology technological development cryoprotection James Farrant James Farrant shows that viable ice-free cryopreservation of a highly organized tissue is possible and that eliminating ice formation, even at -79 °C, eliminates virtually all of the extensive mechanical (histological) and ultrastructural disruption observed with conventional cryoprotection and freezing of complex tissues.[36]
1965-05-20 cryonics Life Extension Society Wilma Jean McLaughlin of Springfield, Ohio dies from heart and circulatory problems. Ev Cooper would fill a report the following day "The woman who almost became the first person frozen for a possible reanimation in the future died yesterday." The attempt to freeze her is abandoned. While reports on this event would vary, many would mention the lack of preparation, cooperation from various people, and explicit consent as obstacles to the freezing.[37]
1965-06 cryonics organization milestone Life Extension Society The Life Extension Society offers to freeze the first person for free: "The Life Extension Society now has primitive facilities for emergency short term freezing and storing our friend the large homeotherm (man). LES offers to freeze free of charge the first person desirous and in need of cryogenic suspension." No one would take them on their offer.[37]
1966 cryonics organization founding Immortalist Soceity The Cryonics Society of Michigan (later renamed the Cryonics Association, and then, in 1985, the Immortalist Society) is founded with Ettinger elected as its president.[38]
1966 cryonics organization founding Cryonics Society of California The Cryonics Society of California (CSC) is founded by Robert Nelson. CSC is a non-profit organization contracting with the for-profit organization Cryonic Interment for cryonics freezing and storage. Cryonics Interment would later be renamed General Fluidics by Robert Nelson and Marshal Neel.[2][38]
1966 cryobiology science fracturing Kroener and Luyet Kroener and Luyet observe fracturing in vitrified glycerol solutions.[39][40]
1966-04-22 cryonics milestone Cryo-Care Equipment Corporation An elderly woman (probably from Los Angeles – never identified) who has been embalmed for two months and maintained slightly above-freezing temperature is straight-frozen.[37] There is some thought of the cryonics premise of eventual reanimation, but within a year she would be thawed and buried by relatives.[41][42]
1966-10-15 cryonics science Adachi, et al. Recovery of brain electrical activity after freezing to −20 °C is demonstrated.[43]
1967-01-12 cryonics technological adoption cryonics Cryonics Society of California James Bedford is the first human to be cryopreserved.

The freezing is carried out by affiliates of the newly-formed Cryonics Society of California: Robert Prehoda, author and cryobiological researcher; Dante Brunol, physician and biophysicist; and Robert Nelson, President of the Society. Also assisting is Bedford's physician, Renault Able.

6 days later, relatives would move Bedford to the Cryo-Care facility in Phoenix. Later, his son would store him, and finally, on September 22, 1987, Bedford would be moved to Alcor.[37][5][44]

1968 cryonics organization status Cryo-Care Equipment Corporation Ed Hope closes Cryo-Care Equipment Corporation after seeing it wouldn't turn a profit. The remaining patients are turned over to other organizations or to relatives.[2]
1968 cryobiology technological development cryoprotection Dog kidneys are cryopreserved using Farrant's technique resulting in no ice formation and with excellent structural preservation, and the ability to tolerate reperfusion with blood in the animal without immediate failure.[45]
1968-02 reanimatology science Ames, et al. Ames, et al., discover the cerebral no-re-flow phenomenon which prevents adequate reperfusion of the brain after ~10 minutes of global cerebral ischemia and identifies this as the likely cause of failure to achieve brain resuscitation after 6-10 minutes of normothermic ischemia rather than the acute death of brain cells as the supposed cause.[46]
1969 cryonics organization founding American Cryonics Society The Bay Area Cryonics Society is founded by two physicians, the prominent allergist and editor of Annals of Allergy, Dr. M. Coleman Harris, and Dr. Grace Talbot. It would be renamed to the American Cryonics Society in 1985.[34][47][48]
1969 cryonics social Evan Cooper Cooper ends his involvement in cryonics. He feels overloaded and burned-out, and thinks cryonics is not going to be a viable option for himself for practical (political, social, economic) reasons and that he is not going to spend the time he had left trying to obtain the impossible. He is also concerned with the commercial and political aspects within cryonics.[31]
1969-04-11 cryonics futurism Jerome White Jerome White, one of the founders of the Bay Area Cryonics Society, proposes the use of specially engineered viruses to effect repair of cells that are damaged by freezing and compromised by aging.[49]
1970 cryonics science Hossmann, Sato Hossmann and Sato demonstrate that, contrary to decades of biomedical dogma, it is possible to restore robust electrical activity and demonstrate evoked potentials in cat brains that had been subjected to 1 hour of normothermic ischemia. This marks the beginning of the debunking of 3-6 minute limit on brain viability under conditions of normothermic ischemia. It also shows that brain cells do not undergo autolysis after ~10 minutes of normothermic ischemia, a view that was commonly held by both many physicians and neurologists prior to this time.[50]
1970 cryonics organization founding Cryonics Society of America The Cryonics Society of America (CSA) is incorporated.

The purpose of the CSA is to establish “standards and practices” of operations for all of the cryonics societies, to mandate validation of human freezing by requiring the submission of photographic proof along with a death certificate, and a description of the procedure used and the location where the patient was being stored (essentially establishing a registry of cryonics patients). It is also created to allow for the creation of a Scientific Advisory Board which would, in fact, formed in March of 1968. CSA itself never got off the ground due to noncompliance with the "standards and practices" by the Cryonics Society of California.[51]

1970-05-15 cryonics organization status Cryonics Society of California Nelson moves the 4 patients from the Cryonics Society of California into an underground vault he recently had designed and built under the aegis of Cryonics Interment. The vault is located in Oakwood Cemetery in Chatsworth, Los Angeles.[2]
1970-05-22 cryobiology science theory Peter Mazur Peter Mazur publishes his “two-factor theory” elucidating the basic mechanisms of freezing damage to living cells: solution effects injury and/or intracellular freezing. This insight facilitates a more rational design of freezing and thawing protocols allowing the development of freezing techniques for animal embryos.[52]
1971 resuscitation science Hossmann Hossmann demonstrates the possible recovery of the cat brain after complete ischemia for 1 hour. The field of cerebral resuscitation is born.[53]
1971 cryonics futurism Martin Cryonics by neuropreservation is proposed.[54]
1971-08 cryonics social journal Manrise Technical Review Fred and Linda Chamberlain begin publishing a bi-monthly technical journal, Manrise Technical Review and in 1972 they publish the first comprehensive technical manual of human cryopreservation procedures. This marks the beginning of a biomedically informed and rigorously scientific approach to cryonics. In this manual, the Chamberlains suggest application of the Farrant technique to cryonics patients.[55]
1971 (end of) - 1979-04 cryonics organization status Cryonics Society of California 9 patients are thawed by the Cryonics Society of California. This would become known as the Chatsworth Scandal because the patients were stored in an underground vault at a cemetery in Chatsworth.[2]
1972 cryonics technological adoption Trans Time A collaborative working group led by Trans Time President Art Quaife and consisting of Gregory Fahy, Peter Gouras, M.D., Fred, and Linda Chamberlain and Mike Darwin begin working on a standardized protocol for the cryoprotection of cryonics patients. Quaife publishes the first results of this effort, a modification of Collins’ organ preservation solution for use as the carrier solution for Me2SO during cryoprotective perfusion. This marks the first attempt at creating a standardized, science-based human cryopreservation protocol.[56]
1972 cryonics organization founding Trans Time Trans Time, Inc., (TT) a cryonics service provider, is founded by Art Quaife, along with John Day, Paul Segall and other cryonicists. It is a for-profit organization. It's initially a perfusion service-provider for the Bay Area Cryonics Society. They buy the perfusion equipment from Manrise Corporation.[34] They would be the first to undertake the effort of clarifying legal issues around cryonics, and to actively market cryonics.[34] The name "Trans Time" is inspired by Trans World Airlines, a prominent airline.[57][58]
1972 cryonics Mike Darwin Mike Darwin is the first full-time cryonics researcher. He would work at Alcor for a year.[59]
1972-01-12 suspended animation technological adoption Klebanoff Klebanoff reports survival of the first human after blood washout and induction of profound hypothermia with full recovery of health and normal mentation, Air Force Seargent Tor Olsen who, as of 2018, would still be alive and well.[60]
1972-02-23 cryonics organization founding Alcor Life Extension Foundation The Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a cryonics service provider, is founded by Fred and Linda Chamberlain in the State of California. The organization is named after a star in the Big Dipper used in ancient times as a test of visual acuity. It would serve as a response team for the Cryonics Society of California. Alcor is initially incorporated as the Alcor Society for Solid State Hypothermia, but would change its name to the "Alcor Life Extension Foundation" in 1977.[34][61]
1973-08 cryobiology technological development cryoprotection, re-warming Hamilton, Lehr Hamilton and Lehr demonstrate successful preservation of canine small intestine allografts using Me2SO as the cryoprotectant, and cooling and warming using vascular perfusion with helium gas suggesting that even controlled cooling and emptying of the vasculature's fluid/ice are beneficial in organ freezing. The organ is successfully transplanted.[62][63]
1973-03 cryonics science Cryonics Society of New York Fahy and Darwin publish the first technical case report documenting the procedures, problems, and responses of a human patient (Clara Dostal) to cryoprotective perfusion and freezing. The report is severely critical of the way cryonics patients are being treated and suggests many reform and improvements.[64]
1974 cryonics organization status Trans Time Due to the closure of the storage facility in New York, the Bay Area Cryonics Society and the Alcor Life Extension Foundation change their plan to preserve their patients to the Trans Time facility instead of the New York one, and would do so until the 1980s.[34]
1974 cryonics science Suda, et al. Partial recovery of brain electrical activity after 7 years of frozen storage is demonstrated.[65]
1974 cryonics organization status Cryonics Society of New York Curtis Henderson, who has been maintaining three cryonics patients for the Cryonics Society of New York, is told by the New York Department of Public Health that he must close down his cryonics facility. The three cryonics patients are returned to their families, and would later be thawed.[34]
1975-07 suspended animation technological development Gerald Klebanoff Gerald Klebanoff demonstrates the recovery of dogs from total blood washout and profound hypothermia with no neurological deficit using a defined asanguineous solution. Klebanoff documents the critical importance of adequate amounts of colloid in the perfusate to prevent death from pulmonary edema.[66]
1976 cryonics Technological development Alcor Life Extension Foundation Manrise Corporation provides initial funding to Alcor for cryonics research.
1976-04-28 cryonics organization founding Cryonics Institute Cryonics Institute is founded, and starts offering cryonics services: preparation, cooling, and long term storage.[67]
1976-07-16 cryonics technological adoption Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor carries out the first human cryopreservation where cardiopulmonary support is initiated immediately post pronouncement and is continued until the patient is cooled to 15°C (~400 minutes) and where a scientifically designed custom perfusion machine with heat exchanger was used to carry out cryoprotective perfusion (as opposed to an embalming pump) with control over flow, pressure and temperature and incorporating a bubble trap was used. This is also the first neurocryopreservation (head only) patient. The patient was the father of Fred Chamberlain, the co-founder of the organization.[68][59]
1977 cryonics organization founding Institute for Advanced Biological Studies The Institute for Advanced Biological Studies (IABS) is incorporated by Steve Bridge. IABS is a nonprofit research startup.[69]
1977 cryonics organization founding Soma, Inc. Soma, Inc. is incorporated. Soma is intended as a for-profit organization to provide cryopreservation and human storage services. Its president is Mike Darwin.
1977 cryonics organization milestone Cryonics Institute The Cryonics Institute preserves its first patient, Rhea Ettinger. She would be preserved in dry ice for 10 years, and then switch to liquid nitrogen.
1977(?) - 1986 cryonics social festival Life Extension Festival The Life Extension Festival is run by Fred and Linda Chamberlain.[70]
1977-07 cryonics futurism Mike Darwin Darwin is the first to conceive of the idea of an autonomous, bioengineered cell repair and replacement device to reverse cryo-injury and aging, which he called the “anabolocyte”.[71]
1978 cryonics organization founding Cryovita Laboratories Cryovita Laboratories is founded by Jerry Leaf[72], who had been teaching surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles. Cryovita is a for-profit organization which would provide cryopreservation services for Alcor and Trans Time in the 1980s.[34]
1978-07 cryonics technological adoption Cryovita Laboratories Jerry Leaf of Cryovita Laboratories introduces the principles and equipment of extracorporeal medicine into cryonics with the cryopreservation of Samuel Berkowitz. This included the use of the heart-lung machine, closed-circuit perfusion, 40µ arterial filtration, and sterile technique and Universal Precautions to protect the staff caring for the patient:[73]
1979 cryonics Institute for Advanced Biological Studies Darwin et al., place the first long term storage marker animal into cryopreservation at the Institute for Advanced Biological Studies in Indianapolis, IN, using glycerol cryoprotection. This animal’s cephalon was subsequently transferred to Alcor where it remains in cryopreservation through the present. This was also the first cryopreservation of a companion animal, which was M. Darwin’s childhood dog “Mitzi”.[74]
1979 cryonics milestone Institute for Advanced Biological Studies The Institute for Advanced Biological Studies (IABS) puts Mitzi into cryopreservation, the first companion animal to receive the procedure. Alcor would later store the animal starting in 1982.
1980 cryonics technological development Leaf, et al. Leaf et al., carry out the first closed circuit perfusions with stepped increases in cryoprotectant concentration under well-controlled conditions with physiological and biochemical monitoring of the patients in real-time. This is also the first case where remote standby and stabilization using continuous heart-lung resuscitator support is carried out.[75]
1980 cryonics organization founding Life Extension Foundation The Life Extension Foundation (LEF) is founded. It would later help fund various cryonics organizations, notably Alcor, 21st Century Medicine, Critical Care Research, and Suspended Animation, Inc.[34]
1980 cryonics organization founding Institute for Cryobiological Extension The Institute for Cryobiological Extension is founded, and would soon publish its first volume of ICE Proceedings.
1981 cryonics futurism K. Eric Drexler The first paper suggesting that nanotechnology could reverse freezing injury is published.[76]
1981 cryonics organization status Cryovita Laboratories Soma, Inc. merges with Cryovita Laboratories.
1981-03 cryonics social journal Darwin, Bridge Michael Darwin and Stephen Bridge begin publication of the monthly magazine Cryonics which, for the next 10 years, would be the principal vehicle for publication of technical and scientific papers in cryonics.[77]
1982 cryobiology science toxicity Fahy, et al. Fahy, et al., publish papers which extensively documents the role of cryoprotectant toxicity as a barrier to tissue and organ cryopreservation suggest possible molecular mechanisms.[78][79]
1982 cryonics organization milestone Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor begins storing its own patients. It was previously storing its patients with Trans Time, Inc.
1982 cryonics organization status Alcor Life Extension Foundation The Institute for Advanced Biological Studies merges with Alcor.
1982-09-15 cryonics social bylaws Society for Cryobiology The Society for Cryobiology adopts new bylaws denying membership to organizations or individuals supporting cryonics.[80][81]
1983-01 cryonics technological development Darwin, et al. Darwin, et al. carry out an extensive study to evaluate the efficacy of a human cryopreservation protocol on whole mammals (rabbits). This research discloses extensive ultrastructural disruption of the brain even when freezing in the presence of 3 M glycerol is employed. This work also documents the extremely adverse effects of prolonged cold ischemia on cryoprotective perfusion.[82][83][84][85][86][87][88][89]
1983 cryonics organization status Institute for Cryobiological Extension Leaf changes hats to President of the Institute for Cryobiological Extension (ICE) with the intention to devise a new project with the goal of having animal heads frozen, thawed, and reattached to a new body in such a way that would allow for neurocognitive evaluation. The project would later be deemed impractical. [90]
1984 cryonics science Darwin, et al. Darwin et al. publish the first paper documenting the effects of cryopreservation protocols on human patients. This paper documents the presence of extensive macro-tissue fracturing in all three patients examined and shows relatively good histological preservation in the patient treated with 3 M glycerol.[91]
1984 suspended animation technological development Leaf, Darwin, Hixon Leaf, Darwin and Hixon complete 3-years of research demonstrating successful 4-hour asanguineous perfusion of dogs at 5°C with full recovery of health, mentation, and long term memory. The paper documenting this work is rejected by the Society for Cryobiology because the work was conducted by cryonicists. The perfusate developed during this research, MHP-2 continues to be used for total body washout through the present.[92]
1984 cryobiology science cryoprotection Fahy, et al. The first paper showing that large organs can be cryopreserved without structural damage from ice is published.[93]
1984 cryonics science fracturing Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor observes fractures in human cryopreservation patients. [39][94]
1985 cryonics technological adoption remote stabilization Federowicz, et al. For the first time, a cryonics patient is given remote standby with in-field total body washout. Cardiopulmonary support (CPS) is initiated within 2 minutes following monitored cardiac arrest. This is also the first case where anesthesia is used to inhibit consciousness during cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) and external cooling.[95][96][97]
1985 cryobiology technological development vitrification Fahy, Rall Fahy and Rall successfully apply vitrification to embryo preservation introducing the technique to mainstream medicine and highlighting its potential utility in solid organ cryopreservation.[98]
1980s (mid) cryonics legal life insurance Jackson National Jackson National is the first life insurance company to definitively state that it acknowledges that cryonics arrangements constitute a legitimate insurable interest.[99]
1980s (mid) cryobiology technological adoption vitrification Greg Fahy and William F. Rall Researchers Greg Fahy and William F. Rall help introduce vitrification to reproductive cryopreservation.
1986 cryonics social textbook Mike Darwin M. Darwin publishes the first textbook on acute stabilization of human cryopreservation patients.[100]
1986 cryobiology science vitrification Greg Fahy Greg Fahy proposes vitrification as a mean of achieving viable parenchymatous organ preservation.[101]
1986 cryonics futurism K. Eric Drexler K. Eric Drexler publishes Engines of Creation[102] -- the first book on molecular nanotechnology --. The book has a chapter on cryonics. It creates a surge in growth in cryonics interest and membership.
1986 suspended animation science Haneda, et al. The first paper showing that large mammals can be recovered after three hours of total circulatory arrest (“clinical death”) at +3°C (37°F) is published. This supports the reversibility of the hypothermic phase of cryonics.[103]
1986 cryonics organization milestone Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor cryopreserves a member's companion animal for the first time.
1986 cryonics futurism K. Eric Drexler Aldehyde-stabilized cryopreservation is proposed under the name of "fixation and vitrification".[104]
1987 cryonics organization founding Cryonics Society of Canada Douglas Quinn launches the Cryonics Society of Canada and Canadian Cryonics News.[105]
1987 cryonics technological adoption cold Cryonics Institute The Cryonics Institute starts using liquid nitrogen instead of dry ice.[34]
1987-06 cryonics technological development extracorporeal membrane oxygenation Leaf, Darwin, Hixon Leaf, Darwin, and Hixon develop a mobile extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) cart which is capable of providing acute, in-field extracorporeal life support and cooling providing the first truly adequate method of maintaining viability and achieving rapid induction of hypothermia in cryonics patients.[106][107]
1987-06-08 cryonics technological adoption extracorporeal membrane oxygenation Mike Darwin The first use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support on a cryonics patient.[108]
1987-12 cryonics legal cryopreservation Alcor Life Extension Foundation Saul Kent brings his terminally ill mother (Dora Kent) into the Alcor facility where she deanimates. Her head would be cryopreserved.

The rest of the body would be given to a coroner. The coroner's office wouldn't understand that circulation would be artificially restarted after legal death, and that barbiturate would be given to slow down the brain metabolism. Seeing the distributed barbiturate throughout the body, they would change the cause of death from natural causes to homicide.

In January 1988, Alcor would be raided by coroner's deputies, a SWAT team, and UCLA police. The Alcor staff would be taken to the police station in handcuffs and the Alcor facility would be ransacked, with computers and records being seized. The coroner's office would want to seize Dora Kent's head for autopsy, but the head would be removed from the Alcor facility and taken to a location that would never be disclosed. Alcor would later sue for false arrest and for illegal seizures, and would win both cases.[34][109]

1988 cryonics social email list Cryonet The Cryonet email list starts.[110]
1988 cryonics legal cryopreservation Dick Clair Alcor member Dick Clair – who is dying of AIDS – sues for, and ultimately wins for everyone, the right to be cryopreserved in the State of California.[34][111]
1989 cryonics technological development cooling rate Mike Darwin M. Darwin creates the portable ice bath (PIB) to substantially increase the efficacy of external cooling with Fred Chamberlain subsequently developing a surface convective cooling device to further improve heat exchange doubling the rate of cooling during external cooling for induction of hypothermia.[112]
1989 cryonics technological adoption Mike Darwin M. Darwin introduces high impulse cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improving cardiac output during cardiopulmonary support (CPS).[113]
1989-02 cryonics social textbook Wowk, Darwin Wowk and Darwin author the first comprehensive textbook on cryonics, "Cryonics: Reaching for Tomorrow", designed for use in recruiting new members to Alcor. It would be published in 1991.[114]
1990 cryonics technological development pre-medication Mike Darwin M. Darwin publishes the first pre-medication protocol to minimize ischemia-reperfusion injury in cryonics patients.[115]
1990 cryonics quality assessment Mike Darwin M. Darwin introduces end-tidal CO2 monitoring to cryonics and sets out a comprehensive set of guidelines for determining the efficacy of in-field cardiopulmonary support.[116]
1990 cryonics legal right-to-die Thomas K. Donaldson Thomas K. Donaldson, after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, petitions the California courts, seeking a declaration that he has a constitutional right to achieve cryonic suspension before his natural death. Donaldson and his doctors build their argument in light of the recent right-to-die legislation where patients could have life-sustaining medical treatment withdrawn. The trial court would dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, and Donaldson would then appeal. The court holds that he does not have a constitutional right to assisted death because the cryonic process would necessarily involve physician-assisted death, or the aiding, advising, or encouraging of another to commit suicide.[117]
1990 cryobiology science intermediate storage temperature Greg Fahy Fahy publishes a detailed study of fracturing in large volumes of vitrification solution.[39][118]
1990 cryonics organization status Trygve Bauge Trygve Bauge, a member of the American Cryonics Society, brings his deceased grandfather from Norvegia to the United States.

He would store his body at Trans Time from 1990 to 1993.

Bauge would then transport his grandfather to Nederland, Colorado in dry ice with the intention of starting his own cryonics company.

After media turmoil, the town would outlaw cryonics, but would "grandfather the grandfather" who would remain there on dry ice.[34]

1990-06 cryonics technological adoption remote stabilization Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor patient A-1239 receives a field cryoprotection with glycerol in Australia before being transported on dry ice to Alcor.[119]
1990-06-09 cryonics quality assessment Alcor First evaluation of viability in a cryonics patient using Na+/K+ ratio in the renal cortex demonstrating good tissue viability following application of the Alcor Transport Protocol, including rapid post-arrest in-field washout and rapid air transport of the patient to the cryoprotective perfusion facility.[120]
1990-10 cryobiology technological development re-warming Ruggera, Fahy Ruggera and Fahy demonstrate uniform radio frequency re-warming of a vitrified solution in volumes comparable to those of the rabbit kidney without thermal runaway and at rates of re-warming sufficient to inhibit devitrification in their model system.[121]
1990-10 cryobiology science vitrification Fahy, et al. Fahy, et al., publish the first paper documenting the behavior of large volumes of vitrification solution with respect to fracture temperature, thermal gradient, cooling rate, ice nucleation and crystal growth as a preliminary step to avoid fracturing in vitrified organs and tissues and to prevent devitrification during re-warming.[118]
1992 cryonics futurism R. C. Merkle The application of nanotechnology to reverse human cryopreservation is discussed in a paper for the first time.[122]
1982 cryonics organization milestone Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor starts providing its own cryopreservation as well as patient-storage services.
1992-02 cryonics technological adoption extracorporeal membrane oxygenation HK Henson The first application of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation ECMO in the patient’s home followed by ~8 hours of continuous ECMO support prior to perfusion.[123]
1993 cryonics organization founding 21st Century Medicine 21st Century Medicine, a cryogenics and cryonics research organization, is founded.[124]
1993 cryonics organization founding CryoCare The CryoCare Foundation is founded. It would provide human cryopreservation with assistance from two separate businesses: BioPreservation, which would provide remote standby, stabilization, and transport, and CryoSpan, which would provide the long-term storage of patients in liquid-nitrogen. About 50 former Alcor members join in the founding of the organization.[59][125]
1993-03 cryonics Technological development intermediate storage temperature CryoNet Through the CryoNet email list, collaborative effort is put into designing a room to preserve up to 100 people at −130 ºC.[39]
1994 cryonics Technological development intermediate storage temperature Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor observes fractures in the brain of a patient following removal from cryopreservation. Alcor thinks of intermediate temperature storage systems, and the development of a new acoustic fracturing monitoring device, the "crackphone."[39][126]
1994 cryonics Technological development intermediate storage temperature Timeship Architect Stephen Valentine begins studying Cold Room intermediate temperature storage design concepts as part of a large cryonics facility design that would eventually be called Timeship.[39]
1994-02 cryonics risk management natural catastrophes, legal environment Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor moves to Scottsdale, Arizona, with all its patients.[34][127]
1995 cryonics technological adoption cryoprotection Alcor, Biopreservation Both Alcor and Biopreservation begin using high morality glycerol (7.5 to 8. M) as their cryoprotective strategy.[128]
1995 cryonics technological adoption pre-medication Mike Darwin Darwin et al., document the first use of a premedication protocol to mitigate ischemia-reperfusion injury in a cryonics patient.[129]
1995-05-31 cryobiology science cryoprotection Mike Darwin Darwin, et al., demonstrate much improved ultrastructural preservation in the dog brain and preservation of vascular integrity after perfusion with 7.5 M glycerol and freezing to -100 °C.[130][131]
1997 cryonics technological adoption intermediate storage temperature Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor brings the crackphone (an acoustic fracturing monitoring device) into clinical use.[39] The Alcor crackphone has never been tested or validated in any animal or human model, nor in bulk cryoprotective agents solutions cooled to deep subzero temperatures.
1997 cryonics risk management economic stability Alcor Life Extension Foundation After a substantial effort led by then-president Steve Bridge, Alcor forms the Patient Care Trust as an entirely separate entity to manage and protect the funding for cryonics patients.
1998 cryonics technological development cooling rate Darwin, Harris, Russell Darwin, Harris, and Russell invent liquid assisted pulmonary cooling allowing for rapid, non-invasive cooling of dogs at a rate of 0.5 °C per minute.[132][133]
1999 cryonics organization status CryoCare BioPreservation doesn't renew its contract with CryoCare, and stops offering cryonics services altogether.[34] CryoCare doesn't find a new provider.[34] They would transfer their 10 patients from the American Cryonics Society to the Cryonics Institute on 2004-04-06, and their 2 other patients to Alcor on 2001-01-24.[5][59][125]
2000-03 cryobiology science vitrification Song, et al. The application of vitrification to a relatively large tissue of medical interest, vascular grafts, is successful for the first time.[134]
2000 cryonics technological adoption intermediate storage temperature Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor acquires a −130 ºC Harris CryoStar laboratory freezer from GS Laboratory Equipment and begins testing its utility for possible storage of neuropatients.[39][135]
2000 cryonics organization founding Critical Care Research Critical Care Research, a research organization on critical care medicine, is founded.[136]
2000-07-15 cryobiology technological development vitrification Fahy, Kheirabadi Fahy and Kheirabadi achieve permanent life support after perfusion of rabbit kidneys with 7.5 M a vitrification solution demonstrating for the first time that concentrations of cryoprotectant compatible with vitrification are tolerable without the loss of renal viability.[137]
2001 cryonics technological adoption vitrification Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor switches from glycerol (which was reducing ice formation, but not vitrifying the brain) to a proprietary mixture of cryoprotectants called B2C developed by 21st Century Medicine designed to eliminate ice formation completely, ideally achieving vitrification of the entire brain.[138][34][139]
2002 cryonics science For the first time, a paper shows a rigorous demonstration of memory retention after cooling to +10°C (59°F): "Learning and memory is preserved after induced asanguineous hyperkalemic hypothermic arrest in a swine model of traumatic exsanguination".[140]
2002 cryonics Technological development intermediate storage temperature Timeship Project Physicist Brian Wowk and Brookhaven National Laboratory cryogenic engineer Mike Iarocci start collaborating with architect Stephen Valentine to design intermediate temperature storage systems suitable for cryonics in connection with the Timeship Project.[39]
2002 cryonics organization founding Suspended Animation, Inc Suspended Animation, Inc, a for-profit organization that provides cryonics standby, stabilization, and transport services, is founded.[141]
2002 cryonics legal classification Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor cryopreserves baseball legend Ted Williams.

Following more media turmoil[note 4], Arizona state representative Bob Stump would attempt to put Alcor under the control of the Funeral Board. The Arizona Funeral Board Director would tell the New York Times "These companies need to be regulated or deregulated out of business". After a hard fight by Alcor, the legislation would finally be withdrawn in 2004. Alcor would hire a full-time lobbyist to watch after their interests in the Arizona legislature.[34]

2002 cryonics social event Frozen Dead Guy Days festival After media turmoil from Trygve Bauge having brought his cryopreserved grandfather to the town of Nederland, Colorado, some people take this opportunity to create an annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival which would feature coffin races, snow sculptures, and many other activities.

Many cryonicists insist that dry ice is not cold enough for long-term cryopreservation and that the Nederland festival is negative publicity for cryonics.[34]

2002 summer cryonics technological adoption intermediate storage temperature Alcor Life Extension Foundation An Alcor neuropatient receives an excellent uniform perfusion, allowing them to reach the lowest temperature without fracturing ever recorded to date, −128 °C. Cryobiologist consultants would evaluate that this may be the best cryopreservation to date. The patient is transferred to the CryoStar freezer for continued slow cooling and annealing for fracture avoidance. However, the patient would be moved to liquid nitrogen in July 2003 as the maneuver wouldn't be successful. In December, another patient, A-1034, would be also placed into the CryoStar to accommodate the family's preference for this type of storage, and later transferred in a newly validated neuropod in April 2006.[39]
2002-12-13 cryonics social newsletter Alcor Life Extension Foundation The first issue of Alcor News, an online newsletter, is distributed.[142]
2003 cryonics procedure Alcor Life Extension Foundation There is continued work to create a new patient care bay, operating room, and laboratory area. A truck is purchased for conversion as an ambulance that would be large enough to permit surgical procedures. Alcor makes radical changes to its medications to conform with results of resuscitation research.

The research upon which this change in the stabilization medication protocol is based was conducted by Darwin, et al., at 21st Century Medicine from 1995 to 1998. This research was successful in recovering dogs from 16 minutes of normothermic ischemia with 75% of the animals showing no defects in mentation and memory. This research was never published, but a video presentation was made.[143]

2003-06 cryonics technological adoption intermediate storage temperature Alcor Life Extension Foundation Brian Wowk, Mike Iarocci, and Stephen Valentine present new designs for intermediate temperature storage systems to the Alcor board of directors. Alcor acquires an experimental single-patient "neuropod" intermediate temperature storage system developed by Brian Wowk at 21CM.[39]
2003-08 cryobiology Technological development intermediate storage temperature Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University receives a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. government to study fracturing during vitrification of tissue for medical applications, which would considerably advance the field.[39]
2003-10 cryonics Technological development intermediate storage temperature 21st Century Medicine 21st Century Medicine, Inc., constructs a prototype dewar for storage at intermediate temperature in which most of the volume of the dewar is converted into a uniform-temperature storage space kept cold by liquid nitrogen.[39]
2004 cryobiology science vitrification Fahy, et al. Fahy, et al., make a major advance in understanding the nature of vitrification cryoprotectant toxicity, and significant advances in moderating it. Fahy, et al., develop several highly stable vitrification solutions using synthetic ice blockers which also have extremely low toxicity. It is possible to perfuse kidneys with 9+ molar vitrification solution (~60%) without loss of viability.[144]
2004 cryonics legal classification Cryonics Institute As a result of media coverage of Ted Williams's cryopreservation, even though the Cryonics Institute was not involved in that case, the State of Michigan places the organization under a "Cease and Desist" order for six months, ultimately classifying and regulating the Cryonics Institute as a cemetery in 2004. In the spirit of de-regulation, the new Republican Michigan government would remove the cemetery designation for CI in 2012.[34]
2004-08 cryonics technological adoption vitrification Cryonics Institute The Cryonics Institute uses a cryoprotectant, CI-VM-1, for the first time. The dog of a CI member is the patient of the experimental perfusion. The mixture was developed by CI staff cryobiologist Yuri Pichugin.[22]
2004-10-23 cryonics technological adoption remote stabilization Suspended Animation, Inc Suspended Animation, Inc performs a field cryoprotection with glycerol for the American Cryonics Society before transporting the patient on dry ice to the Cryonics Institute for long-term care.[119]
2005 cryonics science theory Whetstine, et al. Cryonics is discussed in a major medical journal for the first time. It addresses the definition of death in the intensive care unit context.[145]
2005 cryonics organization founding Oregon Cryonics Oregon Cryonics is established as a Non-Profit Mutual Benefit Corporation.[146]
2005-06 cryonics organization founding KrioRus KrioRus is founded by 8 Russian cryonicists, and 4 of them serve as Directors – Danila Medvedev, Valerija Pride, Igor Artyuhov, and Alexey Potapov.
2005 (mid) cryonics organization founding Neural Archives Foundation The Neural Archives Foundation is conceived. The organization offers brain preservation services, but only do straight freezes (ie. without perfusion). In 2008 it would be incorporated.[147]
2005-08 cryonics technological adoption vitrification Cryonics Institute CI's 69th patient is CI's first patient to be vitrified. It receives a vitrification solution named CI-VM-1.[22]
2005-10 cryonics technological adoption vitrification Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor starts using a vitrification solution called M22, a cryoprotectant licensed from 21st Century Medicine.[148][149]
2006-04-01 cryobiology science vitrification Pichugin, et al. Pichugin, et al., demonstrate the conservation of both viability and excellent histological and ultrastructural preservation in the rabbit brain hippocampal brain slice subjected to vitrification as well as proving the vast superiority of vitrification over freezing in preserving viability and tissue architecture in rabbit brain slices.[150]
2006-01 cryonics technological adoption intermediate storage temperature Alcor Life Extension Foundation An Alcor neuropatient cryopreserved with M22 vitrification solution sets a new record for lowest temperature reached without fracturing of −134 °C.[39]
2008 cryonics social paper Ben Best A review of scientific justifications of cryonics is published.[151]
2008 cryonics organization founding Advanced Neural Biosciences Advanced Neural Biosciences, Inc., is founded by Aschwin de Wolf. The organization mainly aims to improve brain preservations. The laboratory would receive funding from the Immortalist Society, the Life Extension Foundation, the Cryonics Institute, the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, as well as various individuals.[152][153]
2008 cryonics organization milestone Neural Archives Foundation Neural Archives Foundation preserves its first human patient.[147]
2008-12-12 cryonics social blog LessWrong Robin Hanson, talking about Eliezer Yudkowsky and himself, writes We Agree: Get Froze. Eliezer Yudkowsky would go on writing various articles about cryonics, which would spawn a lot of interest in the topic by people in the LessWrong community – in 2013, 13% of "experienced" respondents to a LessWrong survey (that were part of the community for over two years and had over 1000 karma) reported being signed up for cryonics.[154]
2009 cryonics science vitrification Fahy, et al. A vital mammalian organ is successfully vitrified, transplanted, and reused for the first time.[155]
2009-05 brain preservation organization founding Brain Preservation Foundation The Brain Preservation Foundation is founded by Kenneth Hayworth and John Smart with the goal of furthering research in whole brain preservation.[156]
2010 cryonics organization standby Cryonics Institute The Cryonics Institute starts offering, through Suspended Animation, Inc, standby and transport options.[157]
2010 cryonics social event Annual Young Cryonicists Gathering The first edition of the Annual Young Cryonicists Gathering, Teens & Twenties. This event is founded by the Life Extension Foundation in perpetuity.[158]
2010-05 cryobiology technological development cryoprotection Wowk, et al. Creation of first synthetic ice blockers and their application to organ and tissue preservation to radically increase the stability of vitrification solutions.[159]
2010-05 brain preservation organization milestone Brain Preservation Foundation Saar Wilf donates $100,000 to the Brain Preservation Foundation, which then launches its large and small mammal brain preservation prizes, which would be given to the first groups that could reliably preserve the synaptic structure of the brain.[156]
2010-07 cryobiology technological development toxicity Fahy, et al. Fahy, et al., make significant advances in neutralizing cryoprotectant toxicity.[160]
2011 cryonics technological development intermediate storage temperature Wowk Brian Wowk develops a passive, non-mechanical, “fail-safe” system for intermediate temperature storage in order to reduce or eliminate fracturing in vitrified tissues, organs, and patients.[39]
2011 cryonics quality assessment scan Alcor Alcor initiates CT scanning of neuropatients after discovering that CT examination reveals regional differences in cryoprotectant concentration in the brain and other soft tissues of patients.[161][162]
2011 cryonics organization milestone Cryonics Institute Robert Ettinger is cryopreserved at the age of 92.[34][163]
2011-01 cryonics technological adoption remote stabilization Cryonics Institute The Cryonics Institute ships its vitrification solution (CI-VM-1) to the United Kingdom so that European cryonics patients could be vitrified before shipping in dry ice to the United States.[34]
2012 brain preservation organization milestone Brain Preservation Foundation Shawn Mikula at the Winfred Denk lab in Germany uses plastic embedding to preserve mouse brains, and submits his results for the Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize. But the preservation quality is not complete.[156]
2012 brain preservation organization milestone Brain Preservation Foundation Greg Fahy at 21st Century Medicine (21CM) uses cryobiological techniques to preserve mouse brains, and submits his results for the Small Mammal Brain Preservation Prize. The Brain Preservation Foundation deems the submitted micrographs as inadequate to win the prize because the extensive dehydration produced by M22 perfusions makes an examination of brain ultrastructure and of the connectome at the ultrastructural level impossible using existing FIB-SEM techniques.[156][164]
2012 cryonics technological development remote stabilization Alcor Life Extension Foundation Advanced Neural Biosciences collaborates with Alcor to validate Alcor’s proposed field cryoprotection protocol in the rat model. No ice formation is found after up to 48 hours of storing the brains at dry ice temperature prior to further cooling.[119]
2012-03-22 cryonics organization milestone Alcor Life Extension Foundation Fred Chamberlain III, a co-founder of Alcor, becomes the first patient to be demonstrably preserved free of ice formation as would observe from CT scans in 2018.
2013 cryobiology science vitrification Fahy, et al. Fahy, et al., demonstrate recovery of LTP memory electrophysiology for half millimeter thick hippocampal brain slices that had previously been vitrified and stored for weeks.[165]
2013-05 cryonics technological adoption remote stabilization Cryonics Institute The wife of UK cryonicist Alan Sinclair receives a field cryoprotection before being shipped to the Cryonics Institute.[34]
2014 cryonics social open letter Biostasis 68 scientists from relevant disciplines sign an open letter to legitimize cryonics and support the right to be cryopreserved.[166]
2014 brain preservation science vitrifixation 21st Century Medicine Robert McIntyre from 21st Century Medicine wins the Small Mammal Prize from the Brain Preservation Foundation with a technique called vitrifixation, an Aldehyde Stabilized Cryopreservation (ASC). He combines research done by Greg Fahy and Shawn Mikula.[156]
2014-05-06 cryonics organization milestone Oregon Cryonics OregonCryo preserves its first patient, a dog named Cupcake.[167]
2014-07 cryonics technological adoption remote stabilization Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor starts implementing a plan to practice field cryoprotection for cases in Canada and Europe.[34][119]
2015 cryonics science Vita-More, et al. Memory retention in a cryopreserved and revived animal is demonstrated.[168]
2015-12 brain preservation technological development vitrifixation 21st Century Medicine Perfect histological and ultrastructural preservation of an entire porcine brain in a nonviable state using aldehyde fixation combined with vitrification.[169][170]

In 2016, Robert McIntyre, Greg Fahy, and 21st Century Medicine would win the Large Mammal Prize from the Brain Preservation Foundation with this vitrifixation technique.[171]

2015-03-13 brain preservation technological adoption fixation Oregon Cryonics For the first time, a brain is preserved using fixation technology, by having her brain immersed in a fixative solution. The patient was Deborah Cheek, and she was preserved by OregonCryo.[172]

Immersion fixation is well established to be ineffective in halting autolysis (decomposition).[173][174] This is documented in the peer-reviewed literature with the time to fixation of the immersed brain being on the order of 5-15 weeks.[175] However, this procedure is very inexpensive – Oregon Cryonics charges 1000 USD – so this option is sometimes chosen with the hope that very advance technology might be able to recover some part of the brain.

2016 cryonics organization founding Osiris Osiris Back to Life is founded by Dvir Derhy.[176]
2016 brain preservation organization founding Nectome Nectome is started by Robert McIntyre after having won the Brain Preservation Foundation's Large Mammal Prize. Nectome is a research organization developing biological preservation techniques to better preserve the physical traces of memory.[177]
2016-03-24 cryonics social blog Wait But Why Tim Urban publishes "Why Cryonics Makes Sense" on his blog "Wait But Why". At the moment the article was published, 331,824 people were subscribed to receive new posts by email.[178] Cryonicists almost unanimously acclaimed this post as the best introduction to cryonics.
2016-05-06 cryonics organization milestone Oregon Cryonics OregonCryo starts training its medical team with body donors.[172]
2016-06-06 cryonics risk management economic stability Alcor Life Extension Foundation The Alcor Care Trust Supporting Organization (ACT) is created. The Patient Care Trust (PCT) continues in existence to receive initial funding from new cryopreservations and to pay for ongoing costs for maintaining patients' cryopreservation. The ACT will make long term investments, continue maintaining the PCT, and possibly eventually fund resuscitation research. Both trusts have a different board of directors that can check on each other.[179]
2016-11-12 cryonics social event CryoSuisse CryoSuisse organizes the 1st International Cryonics Conference.
2016-12-24 brain preservation technological adoption fixation Oregon Cryonics For the first time, someone is preserved by being perfused with a fixation solution instead of simply being immersed in it.

Fixative perfusion and brain removal for this patient is carried out by the individual's sons in cooperation with a local mortuary and a mobile pathology service. Oregon Cryonics (OC) is storing the brain.[172]

2017-01 to 2017-08 cryonics Technological development Oregon Cryonics OregonCryo trains and does research and development with 38 body donations.[172]
2017-03-01 cryobiology technological development re-warming Bischoff, et al. Bischoff, et al., develop a novel technique of inductive heat re-warming using magnetic nanoparticles in the vasculature allowing for uniform re-warming of organs the size of rabbit kidneys at rates high enough to prevent devitrification of M-22 vitrification solution at a concentration compatible with kidney viability. The system is potentially applicable to larger organs, such as the human brain.[180][181]
2018 cryonics quality assessment scan Mike Darwin M. Darwin publishes “Preliminary Evaluation of Alcor Patient Cryogenic CT Scans” analyzing three of the four available Alcor neuropatient CT scans. Darwin concludes that it is highly likely that Alcor patient A-1002 was possibly the first human cryonics patient to achieve essentially ice-free brain cryopreservation.[182]
2018 winter brain preservation organization milestone Nectome Nectome participates in the startup accelerator Y Combinator.[177][183]
2018-04-06 cryonics organization founding International Cryomedicine Experts Alcor signs an agreement with the newly funded International Cryomedicine Experts, a for-profit organization providing international cryonics standby, stabilization, and transport services.
2018-05-16 cryonics risk management economic stability Alcor Life Extension Foundation Alcor announces the creation of a sibling organization called the Alcor Endowment Trust Supporting Organization. Its goal is to maintain funds that are invested, and which support Alcor's general operation and research through giving a fraction of the interests made.[184]
2018-06-17 cryonics organization milestone Yinfeng Life Science Research Institute The Yinfeng Life Science Research Institute in Jinan, Shandong, China cryopreserves their first patient.[185] A documentary documents the procedure: China Whole Body Cryopreservation.
2018-10-30 cryonics legal right-to-die Norman Hardy For the first time, a cryonics patient uses the Death With Dignity legislation. The patient's name is Norman Hardy.[186]
2018-11 cryonics social bylaws Society for Cryobiology The Society for Cryobiology releases a position statement clarifying their stance in regards to cryonics, saying they respect people's freedom in choosing this option, but that the procedure is speculative, and that the scientific knowledge necessary to successfully cryopreserve someone doesn't currently exist.[note 5][187]

More information

Some events that weren't important enough to make it into this timeline are noted on the Discussion page (as well as on the Google Sheet Timeline of cryonics - extended timeline).

An exhaustive list of publicly known preserved patients (including a yet incomplete evaluation of the quality of their preservation) can be found in the Google Sheet List of cryonics patients.

A detailed account of membership statistics of cryonics organizations has been compiled in the Google Sheet Cryonic members statistics (although not all organizations share all or any of their membership statistics). A detailed account of patient statistics has been compiled in the Google Sheet Cryonic patients statistics. The membership and patient statistics should be updated at the beginning of every year, after the publication of the statistics from last year.

All those external lists are editable, and everyone is encouraged to contribute to them. They are all available in the Google Folder Cryonics Statistics.

The graphs from the Trends section can be updated whenever the relevant external lists are.

Meta information on the timeline

The initial version of the timeline was written by Mati Roy.

Timeline update strategy

As of 2019, Mati Roy is currently roughly staying up-to-date with new major cryonics events, and should, therefore, update the timeline roughly continuously, at least in the near future. The timeline on this wiki is manually synced with the Google Sheet Timeline of brain preservation as the main author, Mati Roy, finds it easier to maintain it there. So feel free to edit either, and it will then get manually synced.

If you're interested in helping in any way, feel free to take the initiative. If you have any questions, want guidance or feedback, or want to discuss ways to improve this timeline, let me know on the TimelinesWiki Reddit cryonics post (or if you prefer private conversations, reach out to contact@matiroy.com).

Also see the section "More information" for other related information that can be updated or otherwise improved.

Terminology

By default, Mati Roy suggests using the terminology proposed by OregonCryo.

Tracking preservation quality

An interesting addition that could be done to this page is to measure the progress of the quality of cryonics cases. If you're interested in contributing to this project, you can fill the columns related to the quality of the cryopreservation in the Google Sheet List of cryonics patients by going through some of the cases published by the cryonics organizations; see: Alcor (human cases), the Cryonics Institute (human cases), OregonCryo (human cases), OregonCryo (non-human cases), KrioRus (human cases), KrioRus (non-human cases).

While ways to quantify the quality of preservations have been proposed, notably by OregonCryo, there are currently no systematic analyses done about the quality of current preservations by any of the cryonics providers.

As for the improvements done in laboratory conditions, progress is better tracked by noting various discrete technological development as done in the full timeline above.

While having a graph tracking the "biggest mass of a successfully cryopreserved tissue/organ/organism by year, kg" is appealing, it doesn't meaningfully track progress done on brain preservations which pose a series of challenges not present in smaller volumes of tissue as noted by Mike Darwin. This can still be found on the Discussion page.

Acknowledgement

Mati Roy created the first version of the timeline of brain preservation published here. Mati Roy also created and is maintaining, with the help of other volunteers, all of the Google Sheets mentioned in the section #More information. Most of the membership statistics were entered by Marta Sandberg. Mike Darwin contributed a lot of information on notable technological progress. Mike Darwin and Issa Rice provided a lot of useful feedback. Alexey Potapov, Marta Sandberg, as well as others contributed ideas for events to add. The graph and table tracking Scientific progress towards cryonics was created by Roman.

Notes and references

Notes

  1. Trans Time has also existed for a long time, but they haven't always been offering cryonics services, and only have 3 patients in storage. The American Cryonics Society has also existed for a long time, but they contract with other cryonics providers.
  2. not the same as the California organization with similar name
  3. Cryo-Care would not use cryoprotectants or perfusion with its patients but would only do straight freezes to liquid nitrogen temperature.
  4. Following this case, journalists at Sports Illustrated would write a sensationalistic exposé of Alcor based on information that would be supplied to them by Alcor employee Larry Johnson, who had surreptitiously recorded several conversations.
  5. "The Society recognizes and respects the freedom of individuals to hold and express their own opinions and to act, within lawful limits, according to their beliefs. Preferences regarding disposition of postmortem human bodies or brains are clearly a matter of personal choice and, therefore, inappropriate subjects of Society policy. The Society does, however, take the position that the knowledge necessary for the revival of live or dead whole mammals following cryopreservation does not currently exist and can come only from conscientious and patient research in cryobiology and medicine. In short, the act of preserving a body, head or brain after clinical death and storing it indefinitely on the chance that some future generation may restore it to life is an act of speculation or hope, not science, and as such is outside the purview of the Society for Cryobiology."

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