Demineralized freeze-dried bone allografts (DFDBA) have been used extensively in periodontal therapy. DFDBA is used because it contains bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), which induces new bone formation during the healing process. Most commercial bone banks do not verify the presence or activity of BMP in DFDBA nor the ability of DFDBA to induce new bone. Recently, we showed that different bone bank preparations of DFDBA, even from the same bank, varied considerably in their ability to induce new bone, suggesting inherent differences in the quality of the material. Therefore, we examined whether donor age or gender contributed to the variability seen with these preparations. Twenty-seven batches of DFDBA from different donors were donated by one bone bank which had been shown previously to supply DFDBA that was consistently able to induce new bone formation. Each batch was implanted bilaterally in the thigh muscle of nude mice. After 56 days, the implants were excised and examined by light microscopy and histomorphometry. Seventy percent of the preparations tested induced new bone formation. Most of these preparations produced ossicles containing cortical bone surrounding bone marrow-like tissue. The ability to induce bone appears to be age-dependent, with DFDBA from older donors being less likely to have strong bone-inducing activity. By contrast, no difference in ability to induce new bone was noticed between male or female donors. The results of this study confirm that commercial preparations of DFDBA differ in their ability to induce new bone formation. In fact, some of the batches had no activity at all. The ability of DFDBA to induce new bone formation is suggested to be age-dependent, but not gender-dependent by our study. These results indicate that commercial bone banks need to verify the ability of DFDBA to induce new bone formation and should reconsider the advisability of using bone from older donors.