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Am J Sports Med. 2007 Dec;35(12):2148-58. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Allograft update: the current status of tissue regulation, procurement, processing, and sterilization.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Center for Health Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6902, USA.


Allografts are commonly used during sports medicine surgical procedures in the United States, and their frequency of use is increasing. Based on surgeon reports, it is estimated that more than 60 000 allografts were used in knee surgeries by members of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in 2005. In the United States, there are governmental agencies and other regulatory bodies involved in the oversight of tissue banks. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration finalized its requirements for current good tissue practice and has mandated new rules regarding the "manufacture" of allogenic tissue. In response to well-publicized infections associated with the implantation of allograft tissue, some tissue banks have developed methods to sterilize allograft tissue. Although many surgeons have significant concerns about the safety of allografts, the majority believe that sterilized allografts are safe but that the sterilization process negatively affects tissue biology and biomechanics. However, most know very little about the principles of sterilization and the proprietary processes currently used in tissue banking. This article will review the current status of allograft tissue regulation, procurement, processing, and sterilization in the United States.

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