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Current insights into skin banking: storage, preservation and clinical importance of skin allografts

Authors Tognetti L, Pianigiani E, Ierardi F, Mariotti G, Perotti R, Di Lonardo A, Rubegni P, Fimiani M

Received 3 February 2017

Accepted for publication 10 May 2017

Published 18 July 2017 Volume 2017:5 Pages 41—56

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/BSAM.S115187

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin Bluth

Linda Tognetti,1,2 Elisa Pianigiani,1 Francesca Ierardi,1 Giancarlo Mariotti,1 Roberto Perotti,1 Antonio Di Lonardo,3 Pietro Rubegni,1 Michele Fimiani1

1Dermatology Unit and Skin Bank, Department of Medical, Surgical and Neuro-Sciences, University Hospital of Siena, 2Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, Siena, 3Burn Unit, Cisanello Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Pisana (AOUP), Pisa, Italy

Abstract:
Donor skin and dermal grafts are used in several types of loss of substance for different clinical purposes. As biological physiological medication, donor skin grafts can promote re-epithelization, shorten healing time, alleviate pain and protect dermal and subcutaneous structures such as cartilage, tendons, bones and nerves. Though a great variety of dermal matrices and skin equivalents, both synthetic and semisynthetic, are now available for wound treatment, viable human skin allografts remain an important therapeutic choice for extensive deep burns and hard-to-heal wounds. In such cases, viable skin allografts have significantly better clinical outcomes than unviable human-derived allografts or synthetic medications. The demand for human-derived skin bioproducts continues to be a reason for the existence of skin banks. Skin bank organization is complex and requires continuous updating. Careful donor selection, thorough microbiological and serological donor screening for transmissible diseases and rigorous quality control during tissue preparation are necessary to minimize the risk of transmission of pathogenic agents. Skin banks must also observe standardized reproducible procedures to ensure tissue traceability and biological safety in all phases of processing and to avoid new biological contamination. Constant training and periodic checks are needed to keep skin bank operators attentive and responsible. Finally, skin banks should guarantee collection and storage of highly viable skin. Here, we discuss available tissue storage methods and the different types of skin bioproducts.

Keywords: skin allografts, storage methods, skin bioproducts, skin viability

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