Cell and Tissue Banking

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 99–104 | Cite as

The use of human deceased donor skin allograft in burn care

  • Jorge Leon-Villapalos
  • Mohamed Eldardiri
  • Peter Dziewulski


Burns are tissue wounds caused by thermal, electrical, chemical cold or radiation injuries. Deep injuries lead to dermal damage that impairs the ability of the skin to heal and regenerate on its own. Skin autografting following burn excision is considered the current gold standard of care, but lack of patient’s own donor skin or unsuitability of the wound for autografting may require the temporary use of dressings or skin substitutes to promote wound healing, reduce pain, and prevent infection and abnormal scarring. These alternatives include deceased donor skin allograft, xenograft, cultured epithelial cells and biosynthetic skin substitutes. Allotransplantation is the transplantation of cells, tissues, or organs, sourced from a genetically non-identical member of the same species as the recipient. Human deceased donor skin allografts represent a suitable and much used temporizing option for skin cover following burn injury. The main advantages for its use include dermoprotection and promotion of reepithelialisation of the wound and their ability to act as skin cover until autografting is possible or re-harvesting of donor sites becomes available. Disadvantages of its use include the limited abundance and availability of donors, possible transmission of disease, the eventual rejection by the host and its handling storing, transporting and associated costs of provision. This paper will explore the role of allograft skin in burn care, defining the indications for its use in burn management and the future potential for allograft tissue banking.


Burn injury Human skin allograft 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Leon-Villapalos
    • 1
  • Mohamed Eldardiri
    • 1
  • Peter Dziewulski
    • 1
  1. 1.St Andrews Centre for Plastic Surgery and BurnsBroomfield, ChelmsfordUK

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