Background: Allogeneic human skin removed from cadaveric donors is the covering of choice for deep burns, since it accelerates the re-epithelialisation of autologous skin. In this study we evaluated the cellular viability of cryopreserved skin at the regional tissue bank of Verona (Italy).
Methods: From 1st June 2007 to 30th September 2007, tests of cutaneous cell viability were carried out on 21 consecutive skin donors using the MTT (tetrazolium salt) method on samples prior to freezing and on thawed samples after a period of cryopreservation.
Results: The mean percentage viability was 45.1% (+/-20.1%), which is similar to results obtained in other tissue banks. It was noted that viability decreased with increasing age of the donor.
Conclusions: The results of the evaluation of cutaneous cell viability document the validity of the skin cryopreservation procedure in use at the tissue bank in Verona.
Keywords: cryopreservation; skin; tissue bank; transplantation.