The following text is a machine translation of the original article, published here in Italian.
A new achievement for the Regional Skin Bank - Major Burns Center of Bufalini Hospital, located in Pievesestina di Cesena, directed by Professor Davide Melandri.
A new method of preserving tissues intended for clinical use at room temperature recently received a favorable opinion from the Italian Patent Office, which recognized the importance of the invention. The patent inventors are Dr. Elena Bondioli, head of Tissue Engineering activities and technical director of the Cell Factory and Cryobiological Room, Professor Davide Melandri, director of the Pievesestina Skin Bank, and Dr. Valeria Purpura, biologist manager of the Emilia Romagna Region Skin Bank.
"This is," Dr. Purpura explains in a note, "a solution that maintains the morphological and structural characteristics of the tissues up to three years from packaging. The ability to keep the tissue at room temperature in this solution is highly advantageous because it allows the distribution of the still packaged tissue and its use only subsequently to clinical evidence.
At present, the tissue requested by the doctor is thawed and must be used within no more than three days from thawing. If there's an issue (fortunately, it doesn't happen often), the thawed tissue cannot be used and is discarded. With this new method, distributing the tissue in solution allows for a tissue ready for use and prevents its possible disposal. However, it's worth noting that cryopreservation, which involves thawing the tissue and using it within three days, is an optimal method, especially for vital tissues." Another advantage of preserving tissues in a room temperature solution is the reduction of storage costs in nitrogen vapors, required for cryopreservation.
"This is a preliminary result that fills us with satisfaction," Professor Melandri notes, "and one that the whole team has been working on for a long time. Storing at room temperature simplifies and optimizes the use of certain types of tissues for specific clinical indications, benefiting practicality. Moreover, it reduces costs and simplifies storage and distribution, freeing them from the cold chain."
In addition to the note from the Romagna Usl Company, we asked Dr. Bondioli for a comment, who we interviewed in 2022 about the work done as a Skin Bank (see referenced news). "The great challenge of this method," says the doctor, "will be to use it not only on skin tissue and derivatives but also to preserve and export overseas life-saving cells and organs for patients suffering from various diseases."