Study: Hydrogel shows promise in preventing transplant rejection | Eye bank agrees on donation protocol with coroner in Colo. | Collaboration with coroner helps boost tissue donations at Ga. hospital
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August 20, 2014
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News for the Tissue Banking Community

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Study: Hydrogel shows promise in preventing transplant rejection
U.S. scientists have created an easy-to-produce and low-cost hydrogel that they say could help prevent rejection of limb, hand or face transplants by allowing more targeted and slower delivery of immunosuppressant drugs. A study in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that rats with hind-leg transplants experienced no graft rejection for more than 100 days after receiving the hydrogel filled with the immunosuppressive drug tacrolimus. American City Business Journals/Boston/Health Care Inc. blog (8/13)
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Tissue Banking in the News
Eye bank agrees on donation protocol with coroner in Colo.
Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank and the coroner for Boulder County, Colo., have agreed to a protocol for eye donation. "This protocol will allow death investigations and sight-restorative transplants to be carried out together more often," said Robert Austin, a spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank, which had raised concerns about an increase in coroner delays and denials in the county. Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.) (8/13)
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Collaboration with coroner helps boost tissue donations at Ga. hospital
Tissue donations facilitated by the coroner's office increased by nearly 64% at Georgia Regents Medical Center. A partnership between the coroner's office and the hospital's tissue donor service goes back to the 1990s. The Augusta Chronicle (Ga.) (8/18)
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Advocates from world of sport reach out to families about brain donation
To help further the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, former Harvard football player Chris Nowinski talks with the families of athletes about brain donations to the Sports Legacy Institute. Garrett Webster, the son of a former Pittsburgh Steeler, promotes brain donation for the Brain Injury Research Institute. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (8/19)
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Other News
Government & Regulatory
CMS to hold back a third of data from Sunshine Act site due to inconsistencies
CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said by e-mail that the agency will withhold one-third of the data on payments from pharmaceutical and device companies to doctors that are set to be released next month due to intermingled data. The withheld records, which could be in the millions or tens of millions, will instead be posted in the succeeding reporting cycle in June 2015. ProPublica (8/15)
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Business & Economic Trends
CMS offers practice guidance on transition to ICD-10
The CMS has released the first of its "Road to 10" webinar series designed to help small medical practices prepare for the new codes. The resource is available on the agency website. EHR Intelligence (8/15)
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FDA clears 3D-printed facial implant
The FDA cleared Oxford Performance Materials' OsteoFab 3D-printed facial implant, which will be distributed globally by Biomet, the manufacturer announced. The implant is based on a powder that is similar to bone and supports bone attachment. It can be custom-printed using images from MRI or CT scans. Hartford Business Journal (Conn.) (8/19)
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Registration for the 2014 CTBS Exam is now open
The 2014 CTBS exam will be administered on Saturday, Sept. 20. The exam will be administered electronically at the Annual Meeting site in San Diego, and 30 other exam locations will administer the exam on paper, as was done in previous years. To see the list of satellite exam sites and register online today, please visit
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Upcoming October webinar -- More information coming soon
  • Webinar title: Bridging the Gap with Our Funeral Home Partners.
  • Speakers: Christopher Donhost and David Fox from Sierra Donor Services.
  • Date/time: Thursday, Oct. 30, 2-3 p.m. (Eastern Time).
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Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: It is character."
-- Albert Einstein,
German-American theoretical physicist
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