The Hydration Forces Explanation: what it doesn't say

The hydration force explanation (HFE) gives mechanisms for several types of ulstrastructural damage produced by freezing and dehydration. It is explained on other pages. Unfortunately, the HFE has been misquoted in the literature, and some of these misquotations have been propagated unwittingly by other authors. Here is a list of some of the explicit misquotations that are known to us, and notes about what we actually say in our papers that are so badly misquoted.
  • (Pincet et al [1]) "published findings that they suggest also call the water replacement hypothesis into question".

    On the contrary, Pincet et al never mention the water replacement hypothesis, and do not call it into question. See [1].

  • (Pincet et al [1]) "found that trehalose does not affect interbilayer surface pressures between two fully hydrated bilayers".

    On the contrary, Pincet et al did not measure 'interbilayer surface pressures' (whatever they might be) and never used that phrase. See [1].

  • (Pincet et al [1] predict that) "glucose inhibits the fusion of membranes".

    On the contrary, Pincet et al make no mention of glucose and no comments on how solutes might affect fusion. See [1].

  • "contrary to the (Bryant and Wolfe [2]) hypothesis, massive shrinkage and shape change occur during dehydration".

    Massive shrinkage and shape change are never denied by Bryant and Wolfe. On the contrary, they are assumed because they are central to the argument of that paper. See [2].

  • "The polymers dextran and hydroxyethyl starch, on the other hand, had no effect at all on the dry DPPC Tm, although they had the highest Tg of the carbohydrates tested...... These results cannot be accounted for by the Bryant-Wolfe model" [2].

    On the contrary, these results are simply accounted for by the Bryant-Wolfe model. See [2] and [3].


[1]   Pincet, F., Perez, E. and Wolfe, J. (1994) Cryobiology 31, 531-539.
[2]   Bryant, G. and Wolfe, J. (1992) Cryo-Letters 13, 23-36.
[3]   Bryant, G., K.L. Koster and J. Wolfe. (2001) Seed Science Research, 11, 17-25.

Out of politeness, we have not given references to the articles that contain the misquotations. We are unable to answer the question 'Why so much clear misquotation?' Perhaps it is simply misunderstanding, or careless reading. Despite repeated requests, only some of the misquotations have been corrected in the literature, so we offer this page to correct any misapprehensions that might arise from readings of these papers.

Other links

  • Cryobiology and Anhydrobiology.
  • Wolfe J. and Bryant, G. (1999) "Freezing, drying and/or vitrification of membrane-solute-water systems" Cryobiology, 39, 103-129.
  • Wolfe, J., Bryant, G. and Koster, K. (2002) "What is 'unfreezable water', how unfreezable is it and how much is there?" Cryoletters, 23, 157-166.
  • Wolfe, J. (2002) "Cellular Thermodynamics" Encyclopedia of Life Sciences ( London: Nature Publishing Group.
  • Membranes: homeostasis and regulation of area and tension, and how this relates to survival of freeze-thaw cycles.

    Joe Wolfe / /61-2-9385 4954 (UT+10,+11 Oct-Mar)
    Gary Bryant / /61-3-9925-2139 (UT+10,+11 Oct-Mar)

    School of Physics

  • photo of snowgums

    Snow gums in the Australian alps