Given one tissue donor can help up to 100 recipients, donation of human tissue is indispensable to enhancing and saving lives. Recovered tissue is used to treat bone defects including cancers, burn and trauma patients, sports injuries, and congenital anomalies. Tissue is processed after it is recovered to remove contaminants such as blood, bacteria, viruses, and spores.

Virtually anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can potentially donate tissue. With authorization, tissue that is donated but found to be unsuitable for transplant can be used for valuable research purposes. This can help in the study of cancer, asthma, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and many other conditions.

Tissue Donation Includes Bone, Connective Tissue, Skin, Veins, Arteries, Heart Valves and Pericardium

Bone can be used fresh, freeze-dried, or frozen. It is used in many forms, such as whole or crushed. It can also be shaped into pins, wedges, screws, or dowels, which are then used used for repair and reconstruction. Bone promotes healing and mobility. Bone transplants are the most common type of transplant.


Connective tissues can be used in urological surgeries and to replace torn ligaments or tendons, to afford the patient mobility and independence and to relieve pain.

Skin can be used as a temporary biological bandage for burn victims, and in reconstructive surgery.

Veins and arteries may be used in cardiac bypass surgeries (especially for those who with vascular disease), in limb salvage to avoid amputation, or as access for dialysis.

Heart valves are used to replace defective valves often of pediatric patients or in women of child-bearing years.

Pericardium is used in neurosurgery as a protective covering replacement of the brain.

Tissue Recovery


CNYETB recovers transplantable bone and connective tissue, skin, nerve, heart valves, veins, and research tissue within 24 hours after death from suitable donors of various ages.
Upon notification of a potential donor, CNYETB conducts a thorough medical screening to determine donor suitability. Our professional staff then refers to the NY State Donate Life Registry and contacts the donor next-of-kin to obtain authorization. CNYETB also completes a comprehensive donor risk assesment before recovering.

CNYETB features a modern, certified recovery suite at its Syracuse facility that eliminates having to recover in hospital ORs and disrupt OR schedules. CNYETB transports donors to its recovery suite, at no charge to donor families. CNYETB uses prostheses to replace recovered bone and tissue. Incisions made during recovery are sutured using standard surgical procedure, consistent with funeral director practices. Open casket funerals remain a viable option. 

Allosource Tissue Processing


Allosource is CNYETB’s primary, nonprofit tissue processor. Nationally recognized for its Joint Restoration program, Allosource is the largest provider of fresh tissue for joint replacement. It also maintains a full tissue inventory 24-hours a day, seven days a week for hospital and tissue surgeons’ scheduled and emergent needs.

Allosource grants tissue distribution priority to CNYETB tissue donor hospitals.