Human Fixed Tissues

We are delighted to offer fixed tissues and organs from deceased donors and FFPE tissue samples from living, clinical donors.

We are transparent about the dedicated sites we work with and are proud to encourage researchers to join us in direct, in depth technical discussions with the experienced tissue recovery and research managers at our partner sites.

This ensures that all aspects of your project are fully understood and agreed in advance, maximizing the quality and utility of the specimens provided for your experiments.

Clinical FFPE tissue procurement:

We have thousands of Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded blocks / FFPE samples.

Our partner biobanks can also collect prospectively in order to supply the fixed tissue samples (FFPE blocks, slides or curls) you require.

Our clinical repositories have a huge variety of formalin fixed paraffin embedded human tissue specimens in stock, particularly for solid tumors, but also for IBD, amongst other diseases.

Normal/ control FFPE samples, or normal adjacent to tumor tissue (NAT/ NTA) FFPE tissue samples, may be available, as well as matched fresh/flash-frozen blocks, plasma, serum and buffy coat from the same patients.


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.​

Post mortem fixed tissue sample procurement:

– Tissue samples and organs can be collected prospectively and fixed in 10% NBF (Neutral Buffered Formalin).

– Matching fresh and frozen tissue samples or organs can also be collected.

– Normal organs and tissues, unaffected by disease, are available.

– Donors are likely to have some advanced forms of a wide range of diseases, although they may not have died from those diseases as a primary cause, so some may be more severe than others.

– Samples/ organs that would be inaccessible or unavailable from living donors, such as the brain or spinal cord, or available only in very limited quantities, are available.

– Whole blood can also be collected from deceased donors.


-Post Mortem Donor Reports – please contact us for a redacted copy.

-FFPE Tissue or NBF-fixed tissue – please contact us with details of your requirements.

Disease types:

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

Need more information or other samples?

We would love to help

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:




Metabolic, Degenerative and others…

Please also see:

Organs/anatomical parts

Fresh tissues

Frozen tissues

FFPE or formaldehyde-fixed tissues

Read More

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

Read More

  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:

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
  2. Work out your donor criteria
  3. Work out your collection protocol and experimental protocol(s)
  4. Which data do you require? 
Read more on how to use the above 4 steps to ensure success for your project.

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.

We provide fresh and frozen human tissue samples and organs for chemicals, irritancy, corrosivity, toxicity cosmetics and skin permeation testing purposes.

Find out more

Human tissue samples and biofluid specimens such as blood samples are invaluable at all stages of drug/ therapeutic development, from target discovery and validation through to product testing for safety or efficacy, including FDA/ EMEA cross-reactivity panel testing.

Find out more

Patients’ specimens play an absolutely pivotal role in medical advances.

If you are considering participating in human biospecimen research, thank you! Although you will not materially benefit, you will be helping future patients.

Tissue For Research does not liaise directly with patients and can not enroll patients directly for studies. Your hospital or hospice will usually have a research coordinator who can assist with this.

Find out more