WHAT IS CRYONICS?
The deep freezing of a body to -196°C (-321°F).
Anti-freeze compounds are injected into the corpse to stop cells being damaged.
The hope is that medical science will advance enough to bring the patient back to life.
Two main US organisations carry out cryonics in the US: Alcor, in Arizona, and the Cryonics Institute, in Michigan.
Russian firm KrioRus is one of two facilities outside the US to offer the service, alongside Alcor’s European laboratory in Portugal.
HOW IS IT MEANT TO WORK?
The process can only take place once the body has been declared legally dead.
Ideally, it begins within two minutes of the heart stopping and no more than 15.
The body must be packed in ice and injected with chemicals to reduce blood clotting.
At the cryonics facility, it is cooled to just above 0°C and the blood is replaced with a solution to preserve organs.
Cryonpreservation is the deep freezing of a body to – 196°C (-321°F). Anti-freeze compounds are injected into the corpse to stop cells being damaged
The body is injected with another solution to stop ice crystals forming in organs and tissues, then cooled to -130°C.
The final step is to place the body into a container which is lowered into a tank of liquid nitrogen at -196°C.
WHAT’S THE CHANCE OF SUCCESS?
Many experts say there is none.
Organs such as the heart and kidneys have never been successfully frozen and thawed.
It is even less likely a whole body, and the brain, could be without irreversible damage.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Charges at the Cryonics Institute start at around £28,000 ($35,000) to ‘members’ for whole-body cryopreservation.
Rival group Alcor charges £161,000 ($200,000) while KrioRus’ procedure will set you back £29,200 ($37,600).
HOW LONG BEFORE PEOPLE CAN BE BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE?
Cryonics organisations claim it could be decades or even centuries.
However, medical experts say once cells are damaged during freezing and turned to ‘mush’ they cannot be converted back to living tissue, any more than you can turn a scrambled egg back into a raw egg.