Strategies for improvement of nerve regeneration and optimal conditions to prevent Schwann cell (SC) loss within a nerve transplant procedure are critical. The purpose of this study was to examine SC viability, which plays an important role in peripheral nerve regeneration, under various incubation conditions up to three hours. To address this issue, Schwann cell metabolic activity was determined using different independent test methods. The following experimental conditions were compared: SCs prepared from nerves were incubated in (1) isotonic saline solution (2) Dulbecco's modified Eagles medium as used for cell culturing, (3) Hannover bioreactor medium, and (4) Leibovitz's medium. SC metabolic activity of excised rat sciatic nerve was determined at 4°C, 18°C, and 37°C over 3 hrs. The results indicate that SC activity was optimized by the usage of Leibovitz's medium or HBRM at 37°C. Greater SC viability at the time of surgical nerve grafting could contribute to improved axonal regeneration and remyelination after nerve transplantation, and thus more successful functional recovery.