The conference was held at the University Hospital Hradec Králové where the tissue bank was established by Dr. R. Klen in 1952. Dr. Klen's original concept the Tissue Bank was defined as a department specialised in the harvesting, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of various kinds of tissue for clinical and experimental practice. The first kinds of tissue collected were corneas, bone and skin. During the early years grafts were preserved by hypothermia at +4C or freezing in absence of cryoprotectants. In the 60's freeze-drying of tissue grafts was introduced and the bank of cryopreserved cell lines was established.
In the 80's Planer was introduced to Dr P. Mericka and Aqua Chemie (Planer Distributor 1992-present) and helped promote cryopreservation for haematopoietic progenitor cells used for clinical transplantation's as well as then new practices using pigskin for burn treatments. The tissue bank is an institutional member of the European Association of Tissue Banks and annually delivers approximately 1000 grafts that are used in university and county hospitals as well as in surgeons' private practices. Phil would like to say a huge thank you to Dr. Mericka and Dr J. Gregor for their wonderful hospitality and for the opportunity to visit the tissue bank and see Planer Controlled Rate freezers in their working environment.