The University of Bradford has unveiled a new facility to provide UK biomedical researchers access to a wide range of human tissue and tissue products.
This has been made possible through links with NHS Trusts, the NHS Blood and Transplant Tissue Services, transplant co-ordinators and other collaborators, who understand the importance of human tissue in biomedical research and are committed to supporting the activities of the University’s research tissue bank.
The tissue bank has its foundations in a highly successful tumour bank based within the University’s Institute of Cancer Therapeutics. The tumour bank supplied specimens vital to cancer research to locally-based researchers.
In 2007 the group running the bank decided to expand their activities in response to the ever-increasing demands for access to a wider range of human tissue for use in biomedical research. Having gained a Human Tissue Authority Licence and ethical approval status, they have now become one of the first University groups in the UK to open as a licensed ethically approved research tissue bank.
The bank will operate under the name ‘Ethical Tissue’ on a not-for-profit basis and will provide access to a wide range of human tissue and tissue products such as viable cells, cell fractions and arrays. Leeds and Bradford Hospital Trusts, who currently provide tissue to the bank, work with patients and their families to provide information about the supply of tissue for research purposes and manage the consent procedures which underpin the bank’s high ethical standards. It is planned that this relationship will be extended to hospital trusts around the UK.
Tissue is then taken from healthy volunteers, from patients donating samples following diagnostic testing and surgery, or from transplant and cadaveric donors.
The types of research projects using samples or data sourced from Ethical Tissue involve many areas of biomedical science. They include research into normal and abnormal biological processes associated with the nature of human disease, and research into the discovery, interrogation and use of new and established drug targets in humans.
Mrs Sandie Martin, Head of Ethical Tissue, said: “This new and improved facility makes us a leader amongst current sources for processing and supply of human tissue to all types of biomedical research groups.
“Our ability to provide researchers directly with ethical approval will ensure a very efficient process that enables them to receive human tissue in a significantly reduced time frame.
“Gaining ethical approval status has given us increased opportunities to operate in the areas of tissue procurement, transport, processing and storage. By using the expertise of the tissue bank in terms of dissection and processing, our aim is to maximise yields and quality of all tissue products created.”
Dr Kevin Adams, Innovation Manager for the University of Bradford’s School of Life Sciences, said: “There has been an incredible effort over the past year to get this venture up and running.
“We’ve put together a sound business plan, developed an excellent network of tissue suppliers and we’ve satisfied all the regulatory and ethical regulations associated with the sourcing, storage and distribution of human tissues.
“Ethical Tissue will be a tremendous research resource for Bradford and the research community at large.”
For more information on Ethical Tissue visit http://www.ethicaltissue.org
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