Tissue banking, as currently practiced by the Navy, is primarily based upon the clinical demand for, and potential usefulness of, nonviable homografts. These grafts are obtained from recently deceased donors and processed for storage at room temperature. Eleven years of research on and clinical evaluation of over 4,000 patients have shown this concept to be practical and extremely useful to a military community where trauma demands transplantation surgery. As advances are made in overcoming the adverse reactions of homotransplantation, it becomes apparent that storage of viable tissues will be necessary for the support of modern medicine. Experimental work with bone marrow, certain endocrine tissues, and organ sections indicates that, by utilization of various nutrient media or freezing techniques, viable storage of functional tissue will become an integral part of the tissue bank of the near future.
Gresham RB, Perry VP, Wheeler TE. US Navy Tissue Bank: Report on Current Methods and Experimental Approaches to the Future. JAMA. 1963;183(1):13–16. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700010053011
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