What is the hair-like polymer that condenses on the caps of the plastic cell vial? Inside vial are cells in a mixture of FBS and DMSO. The vials were frozen slowly in a special isopropanol-filled container (isopropanol does not touch the vials) to $\pu{-80^\circ C}$, then put on dry ice to move to a liquid nitrogen cryogenic freezer.

The hair-like crystals appear to be water, but bend toward my finger when nearby, similar to static attraction. I suspect that it has something to do with DMSO/isopropanol leaking out, and the very low temperatures that cause this strange condensation pattern, but I'm not sure. The hair like ice-crystals bend toward your finger, and melt when actually touched

  • $\begingroup$ Those strains might also be DMSO or DMSO-water-isopropanol mixture. If you could determine the melting point more precisely, it would be easier to answer. Also, assuming you work in a decent lab, maybe do some HPLC analysis in a spare time to be 100% sure what that is. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Aug 31 '17 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk Thank you for your response. I was planning on doing an LCMS/HPLC on it sometime to be sure. Just wondering if anyone knew off the top of their heads :) $\endgroup$ – user36181 Aug 31 '17 at 21:13

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