The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of Afp1m as a cryopreservative agent for skin by examining the transplanted skin histological architecture and mechanical properties following subzero cryopreservation. Thirty four (34) rats with an average weight of 208 ± 31 g (mean ± SD), were used. Twenty four (n = 24) rats were equally divided into four groups: (i) immediate non-cryopreserved skin autografts (onto same site), (ii) immediate non-cryopreserved skin autografts (onto different sites), (iii) skin autografts cryopreserved with glycerol for 72 h and (iv) skin autografts cryopreserved with Afp1m for 72 h at -4 °C. Rounded shaped full-thickness 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter skin was excised from backs of rats for the autograft transplantation. Non-cryopreserved or cryopreserved auto skin graft were positioned onto the wound defects and stitched. Non-transplanted cryopreserved and non-cryopreserved skin strips from other ten rats (n = 10) were allowed for comparative biomechanical test. All skin grafts were subjected to histological and mechanical examinations at the end of day 21. Histological results revealed that tissue architecture especially the epidermal integrity and dermal-epidermal junction of the Afp1m cryopreserved skin grafts exhibited better histological appearance, good preservation of tissue architecture and structural integrity than glycerolized skin. However, there was no significant difference among these groups in other histological criteria. There were no significant differences among the 4 groups in skin graft mechanical properties namely maximum load. In conclusion, Afp1m were found to be able to preserve the microstructure as well as the viability and function of the skin destined for skin transplantation when was kept at -4 °C for 72 h.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.