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The Ethical Tissue laboratory

The bio-repository of Ethical Tissue is located in a Class 2 facility (positive air pressure) with electronic locking and key card entry allowing access only to specific employees of the University.  All staff work within a licensed environment and appropriate health and safety controls are in place. These support the processing, storage and traceability of samples. All freezers have emergency backup procedures.

Ethical Tissue's Standard operating Procedures (SOPs) cover all validated processes and equipment which have assigned monitoring, cleaning and maintenance schedules.

The agreed collection protocols for each tissue cover their acquisition and transportation to the laboratory in order to preserve the integrity of the tissue samples. Pre-processing of samples can be arranged immediately after collection with temporary storage in Ethical Tissue before transfer to the researcher.

All samples are logged onto a central database in order to ensure traceability of all samples using the unique code assigned to each donation.

Personal donor information is never issued and is kept under strict security and confidentiality.

Storage facilities

All samples are appropriately stored according to the relevant SOPs using fully maintained and monitored equipment.

Standard processing can include, where appropriate, snap freezing of tissue in liquid nitrogen, formalin fixed paraffin embedding (FFPE), urine preparation, blood sample preparation (whole, plasma, serum, and leukocytes (buffy coat)), and blood analysis. Pathology blocks associated with a fresh tissue donation can be requested.

The -800C freezers have defined sub-compartments to aid traceability of stored tissues. There is a robust system of backup in the event of failure in the storage area and contingency plans in place.  

Viable primary cells are stored in liquid nitrogen Dewars in defined locations.   

Laboratory facilities

Apart from our storage facilities we have a range of other capabilities:

  • Cell culture
  • Histology
  • Protein biochemistry
  • Ultracentrifugation