Organs are Allografts, Too!

Did you know that organs are also a type of allograft? We usually think of skin, tendons, bone, and heart valves as allografts, but solid organs are also allografts, which are defined as “a tissue or organ obtained from one member of a species and grafted to a genetically dissimilar member of the same species.”1 […]

FDA Revises Screening Guidelines for Zika Virus Based on Study Data

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revised their guidance for screening donated whole blood and blood components for Zika virus, replacing the guidance put in place during the height of the Zika outbreak in August 2016. The revised guidance allows blood establishments to utilize pooled testing of donations, instead of testing each donation individually. […]

What is CRISPR? A Primer

CRISPR is known as a cutting-edge tool for gene editing. Would you be surprised to learn that  that CRISPR originally evolved within single-celled organisms such as bacteria, as their own immune response to viruses? When viruses attack a bacterial cell, they inject their genome—their own viral DNA—into the cell. The bacterial cell, in turn, responds […]

Allografts and Storage: What are the Temperature Requirements?

Allografts are produced in different formats. The temperature and method of storage is dependent on the type of tissue, its method of preservation, and its intended use. Methods of cold storage for tissue include refrigerated, frozen, or frozen-cryopreserved techniques, while simple ambient room temperature is appropriate for lyophilized, dehydrated, or desiccated tissues. 1 Standards have […]

First Commercial Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Plant Opens in Japan

The first commercial facility to produce induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) opened on March 22, 2018. The $340 million, 30,000 square foot facility was built by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and is designed to produce stem cells for therapeutic applications.1  Sumitomo Dainippon is currently involved in using iPSCs to create treatments for conditions including macular degeneration, […]

Understanding Stem Cells Part 2: Ready for the Clinic?

With advances in research and technology, using stem cells for their regenerative potential has become a reality. But many stem cell treatments on the market have been marketed to the public and applied clinically without scientific evidence of efficacy. Worse, some treatments with stem cells have caused serious adverse events. Provided that cell and tissue […]

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Understanding Stem Cells, Part 1: Stem Cells 101

Stem cells are a promising regenerative medicine tool and treatment. So much information on stem cell research exists that sorting through the facts and the hype can be daunting. This post will focus on explaining stem cell basics: What are stem cells, and what are the different types? Here, we will focus on adult stem […]

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3D Printed Tissues From Bench to Bedside

3D bioprinting has the potential to provide significant medical advances. For example, 3D printing of functional tissues and organs could someday alleviate shortages in organ availability and the problem of organ incompatibility. But where does the field stand today? A look at the research benches of top labs can give us an idea. In this post […]

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Good Tissue Bank Standards of Practice

What helps make a tissue bank good? Following Standards of Practice (SOPs) in tissue banking is vital to ensure that every step of human tissue procurement, preparation, and distribution is held to the highest standards. This is done to ensure the safety, quality, and traceability of tissues for surgical use. The internal Standards of Practice […]

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Hot Topics: Zika Virus and Allografts, Part 1

Since the Zika outbreak first began in Brazil in late 2015,1 its spread has been of significant concern to the medical community. First identified due to the significant rise in microcephaly among newborns in Brazil…

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Hot Topics: Zika Virus and Allografts, Part 2

There is presently no test available to detect the presence of Zika virus in allograft tissues. This may change if the Procleix Zika Virus Assay now being investigated proves to be an accurate and reliable test…

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Tissue Banks: Standards and Accreditation

At present, there are about 167 tissue banks operating across the United States.1 Their role is vital to ensuring the quality, safety, and availability of allografts, as tissue banks are responsible for screening…

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Introduction to Allografts

An allograft is a tissue transplant between genetically dissimilar members of the same species1. An allograft is different from an autograft, which utilizes tissue from the same individual’s body and is…

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Understanding Tissue Sterilization, Part 2: Radiation Roundup

In Part 1, we reviewed the differences between aseptic processing and terminal sterilization. In this post, we’ll explore two validated methods of sterilizing tissue through radiation: gamma radiation and E-beam radiation…

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Understanding Tissue Sterilization, Part 1: Aseptic Processing vs. Terminal Sterilization

When you need to procure allograft tissue, you want to be confident that it has gone through appropriate procedures to minimize the risk of infection. Any microorganisms present on a graft can cause infection…

3D Printing in Tissue Engineering

Three-dimensional (3D) printing was developed in the early 1990s at MIT by by Sachs, Haggerty, Cima, and Williams.1 It is a freeform fabrication method that uses regular inkjet printheads to fabricate objects by printing binders onto loose powders in a powder bed.2 What can be made in 3D printing depends on what is used as […]