Viability of cryopreserved human skin allografts: effects of transport media and cryoprotectant

Cell Tissue Bank. 2012 Mar;13(1):147-55. doi: 10.1007/s10561-011-9239-3. Epub 2011 Feb 9.


Human skin allografts can be preserved by different methods. In our clinical practice, human skin allografts are harvested on multi-organ and tissue donors, transferred at +4°C in Ringer Lactate, cryopreserved with 15% Glycerol and held in the vapor phase of a liquid nitrogen freezer until delivery to the burn center. The aim of this experimental study was to evaluate the impact of transport medium and cryoprotectant on the viability of human skin allografts. For this purpose, we compared skin samples harvested from 19 multi-organ and tissue donors with two different transport media and two different cryoprotectants. Viability was assessed by the MTT assay after harvesting at laboratory reception, during storage (at +4°C) at day 2 and day 7, and after cryopreservation and thawing. Histopathological analysis was performed for each MTT assay. Results indicate that, when stored at +4°C, skin retains more viability with RPMI, whereas Glycerol and DMSO are equivalent cryoprotectants regardless of the transport medium. In conclusion, our protocol could be improved by the utilization of RPMI as transport medium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Cryopreservation / methods*
  • Cryoprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Preservation Solutions / pharmacology*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Transplantation*
  • Tissue Survival / drug effects*
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Transportation*


  • Cryoprotective Agents
  • Organ Preservation Solutions