Donor skin is used for the treatment of burns and chronic wounds. Donor skin acts as ‘biological dressings’ that temporarily cover wounds until they have healed.
Donor skin protects against dehydration and infection, and helps relieve pain.
Meshed or plain
To optimise the effect of donor skin, we offer several types of skin
tissue, depending on the application:
- Meshed donor skin
The donor skin can be perforated, allowing it to be stretched as a grid, as it
were. In this case, it is suitable for burns or other wounds with a large
surface area and where exudate drainage is required. The donor skin can be
provided meshed with a ratio of 1:1.5 or 1:3.
- Plain donor skin
For certain applications, donor skin can be provided plain (i.e. unmeshed).
Preservation in glycerol
Several methods can be used to preserve donor skin for a longer period of time, such as deep freezing in liquid nitrogen (-196 °C, cryopreservation), freeze drying, or preservation in high-concentration glycerol (Glycerol-Preserved Allograft, or GPA). Preservation in glycerol will cause all cells to die, while leaving the structure intact. This enables undisturbed wound healing under the layer of donor skin. All donor skin obtained by ETB-BISLIFE is therefore stored in 85% glycerol.
Benefits of GPA
In 1984, donor skin was used for the first time at the Dutch Burn Center
Beverwijk, which is part of the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk, the
Netherlands. The clinical results of GPA have been shown to be more consistent
than those of deep-frozen donor skin. The rejection response that always occurs
after donor skin has been applied to the wound seems to be less strong with
More benefits of GPA
Advantages of preservation in 85% glycerol
- After the glycerol has been washed out, the donor skin shows many similarities with conventional cryopreserved donor skin.
- The processing costs for preservation in glycerol are relatively low.
- Glycerol 85% has antibacterial and antiviral properties. Research has shown that skin bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, as well as HIV, are deactivated. This means that with the use of glycerol-preserved donor skin the risk of bacterial and/or viral transfer is very small – even smaller than with the use of deep-frozen skin.
- Donor skin can be preserved in 85% glycerol at a temperature of 2-8° Celsius, so that a freezer is not required. The condition of the donor skin will not deteriorate after a few days at room temperature, so that the donor skin can be transported at room temperature as well.
On the Research page, you will find an overview of the research performed into GPA donor skin.
Glyaderm is used as a dermal substitute, to replace the dermis lost due to a burn.
The application of Glyaderm underneath a thin autologous skin graft can improve the
scar formation, especially the elasticity of the tissue.
Glyaderm is obtained from donor skin, from which all cells have been removed so that only collagen and elastin fibres remain. After implantation underneath the autologous skin, it will therefore not be rejected. Instead, the donor fibres will act as a scaffold for the fibroblasts and blood vessels that will start to grow into the Glyaderm from the wound bed. The fibroblasts will slowly start replacing the donor collagen with new collagen bundles that resemble the natural dermis structure more closely. If the autologous skin is placed directly into the wound bed, the wound fibroblasts beneath it will place the new collagen bundles in an orientation that is more parallel to the wound bed.This will result in a more rigid scar.
Glyaderm is available meshed with a ratio of 1:1 (perforated) for wound drainage.
More information about clinical studies with Glyaderm can be found on the Research page.
- Deep (third-degree) burns after excision of necrotic tissue
- Reconstruction after removal of scar tissue
- Reconstruction after removal of tumours, giant hairy nevi
Benefits of GPA
- Glyaderm is preserved at room temperature in 85% glycerol. It can be transported and stored at room temperature as well.
- Thanks to the high concentration of glycerol, bacteria are deactivated.
- After the glycerol has been washed out (10 minutes in saline solution), Glyaderm is flexible and suitable for implantation.
Instructions for use
In connection with the traceability of tissue, it is necessary to report the use of Glyaderm in a patient to ETB-BISLIFE. For this purpose, please use the form enclosed with every Glyaderm order.
All Glyaderm packaging has a label stating the donor number and the amount of Glyaderm in cm². The donor number must be added to the patient’s medical record. Please use the label for this purpose. The label can be used for future reference to obtain further information about the donor.