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Facilities provide a secure office and containment level 2 laboratory (positive air pressure) with electronic locking and key card entry allowing access only to specific employees of the University. All personnel are working 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 track the process of acquring tissue 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 asigned to each donation.

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


Storage facilities

Kevin Adams in Ethical Tissue Laboratory

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); isolation urine preparation; blood sample preparation - whole, plasma, serum, leukocytes (buffy coat), and blood analysis. Pathology Blocks associated with a fresh tissue donation can be requested.

The -800C freezers have defined subcompartments 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 the storage facilities Ethical Tissue has a range of capabilities:

  • Cell culture
  • Histology
  • Protein biochemistry
  • Ultracentrifugation