High quality human samples for
world-leading research

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We are trusted by many of the world’s top biomedical companies and academic institutes to provide the annotated human specimens needed for the next diagnostic, drug, medical device or basic research breakthrough.

Our Inventory Includes:

FFPE or NBF-Fixed

Frozen or OCT-embedded

Fresh tissue samples

 

Serum

Plasma

Buffy coat

Whole blood

Urine

CSF

 

Whole organs and anatomical parts are all available in inventory at our partner biobanks and body donation centers, or by prospective collection to meet your exact research and education requirements.​

OUR INVENTORY

We either have in inventory, or can collect, biospecimens from most diagnoses, with the exception of some rare diseases. Precise availability depends on your patient criteria, how you would like the samples to be prepared and which data you need with each sample. Pathology reports, clinical history and follow up data may be available for various collections.

FFPE blocks or curls/slides are most likely to be available from living patients who have undergone surgery or biopsy, although frozen specimens may also be available and fresh samples may be collected prospectively.

Deceased donors’ specimens can be prepared according to your exact criteria.

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The following list is not exhaustive; please contact us with details of your requirements and we will be delighted to investigate.

CONTACT US

Contact us to quickly find out how our partner biorepositories and expert tissue banks can provide the clinical and post mortem biosamples you need to drive your R&D forward.

Frequently asked questions

  • High Quality Facilities mostly located in the UK.
  • A Trusted Partner including for the world’s largest and most successful pharmaceutical firms and highly regarded academic centers.
  • Tissue For Research is also a member of two international professional biobanking organizations:

– ISBER: the International Society for Biological & Environmental Respositories

– ESBB: the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking.

  • Responsibly and ethically collected in accordance with regulation and law.
  • Expert clinical biorepositories and exceptional in-depth data with multiple sample formats. 
  • Dedicated whole body donor facilities provide a high quality service 24/7 with times from death to sampling that can be as low as 3 hours.
  • Single and convenient point of access and project management service.

Samples from a wide range of diseases are available or can be collected, including:

Cancer

Infectious

Inflammatory

Metabolic, Degenerative and others…

Please also see:

Organs/anatomical parts

Fresh tissues

Frozen tissues

FFPE or formaldehyde-fixed tissues

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Why use human tissue samples, blood samples or other biofluid samples?

Humans are genetically unique, with different life styles, diets, disease combinations, treatment combinations and develop diseases at different ages.

This can make human biology complicated to study, but in the end, human tissue samples, before humans ourselves, are the only relevant testbed to advance human medicine.

This is why we provide exclusively human materials: human specimens for clinically relevant research – the only type of research that can really impact patient care

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  1. PMI: Post Mortem Interval (warm ischemic time, and possibly cold ischemic time too)- the time from when the donor passes until the specimen is removed from the donor’s body.
  2. Warm ischemic time:
    Deceased: the time between the donor passing and the tissue sample being removed from the body or the time between the donor dying and the donor’s body being refrigerated. For examples, donors who have undergone post mortem examination at the Coroner’s Office may have quite long cold ischemic times.
    Clinical: the time between the blood being cut off from that particular tissue sample and the tissue being refrigerated, frozen or fixed.
  3. Draw time: the time between blood being drawn and processed (for example, to serum or plasma, or frozen)
  4. TNM, ypT & associated terms: these relate to cancer staging (pathology “p” vs clinical “c”) for detailed explanations, see:
    https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/diagnosis-staging/staging

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/diagnosis-staging/prognosis/tumor-grade-fact-sheet

For example, ypT2 means pathology staging (p) of a pre-treated tumor (y) stage 2. Exactly what is implied by “stage 2” depends on the particular cancer type, with different tumor sizes being denoted & locations of invasiveness depending on the physiological site.

  1. % tumor: this can be measured as % tumor nuclei, or % tumor by surface area, and is determined by a pathologist using an FFPE cancer sample. Please specify if you particularly prefer one type of measurement over the other.
  2. Maximum acceptable time from sampling to delivery: This is the time from the fresh tissue sample or blood sample being removed from the donor to being delivered to your lab.
  3. Normal adjacent: this is normal tissue from the same organ or tissue as a diseased tissue sample and removed as part of the same surgery as part of the surgeon’s process to try to ensure all of the disease is removed. (It does not mean that the donor is necessarily free of all other known diseases or cancers in other parts of the body. Please specify your criteria carefully.)
  4. NAT: Normal Adjacent to Tumor: this is normal margin tissue taken from the same organ or tissue as the cancer sample & resected during surgery to remove a tumor to ensure that all of the tumor is removed.
  1. Leave enough time: Let us know as soon as you are considering conducting experiments using human tissue samples or blood samples. It may take longer than you think to find the right biospecimens in inventory, or you may need us to arrange a prospective collection to meet your exact requirements. The timing of prospective collections can’t be guaranteed; the number of potential donors can only be estimated based on past experience.
    If you also need follow up data, it may also take time to collect. If you need extensive medical histories, that may also take time to prepare.

You may also need to survey the literature in order to set your criteria.

Asking in good time enables you to plan your budget and lab schedule better, and gives us the opportunity to advise you, meaning you have the best chance of getting you the tissue samples you need, with the data you require, in plenty of time to meet your research deadlines.

  1. Work out your donor criteria: The more stringent your requirements, the longer it may take to find suitable donors/patients.
  2. Work out your collection protocol and experimental protocol(s): We never want to receive confidential or sensitive information. However, the more information you are happy to provide us with, the surer we can be of providing you with the most suitable biospecimens, saving you time and money whilst maximizing the value of your research.
    For example, if you are not sure what your maximum acceptable PMI is (for deceased donors), you may need to review the literature.
  3. Which data do you require? We are unable to provide indentifiable personal information. However, depending on the site, full medical records may be available. Let us know which data are essential, and which data are “nice to have”.

Planning your human biosample project

What will you be using the tissue samples for?

If you wish to study RNA or proteomics, for example, you may prefer frozen tissues to FFPE blocks, slides or curls. However, FFPE specimens are much more prevalent.

Can you use frozen tissues, serum, plasma or buffy coat, or do you need fresh materials?

If you are growing cells, fresh cells are best, but otherwise, frozen specimens are more readily available and less challenging logistically. Samples can be delivered with less time pressure during normal working hours, also reducing your courier costs.

Sourcing biospecimens may require balancing speed of access, numbers of specimens available, logistics and cost to ensure you receive all of the high quality samples you require. Study the literature to find out what other researchers have achieved, and how, and speak with our experts for help working out the best route forward for your research.