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Heart disease state samples available:
Via our partner clinical biobanks we can provide a wide range of diseased-heart tissue samples.
We can provide, from biorepositories or prospective tissue collections:
- Normal donor hearts (post mortem only)
- Cardiovascular disease tissue specimens, as well as whole hearts and blood vessel biosamples from heart disease donors, including:
- aortic valve stenosis
- cardiac atrophy
- heart bypass operations
- coronary/other calcification
- cardiomyopathy (ischemic and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy)
- coronary fibrosis
- heart failure
- ventricular assist device placement
- cardiac infarction
- cardiac inflammation
- mitral valve (Myxomatous degeneration, myxoid degeneration, fibrosis, cardiac valvulopathy, severe mitral regurgitation, Nodular myxomatous degeneration of cardiac valve,
- myocyte nucleomegaly
- myxoid degeneration
- pacemaker placement
- papillary fibroelastoma (rare)
- heart transplant rejection (rare)
- sarcoidosis of the heart (rare)
- stent placement
- heart wall thickening
Clinical tissue donors:
A wide range of cardiovascular diseases, including those listed above, are available from our clinical tissue donor partner sites. Clinical donors range in age from their 20s (rare) to 80s.
Clinical tissue sample formats:
Samples are often available with FFPE, frozen tissue, plasma, serum and buffy coat available from the same donor, with pathology details and extensive medical history & follow-up information.
Post mortem tissue donors:
Post mortem donors are mostly aged 60+. The shortest interval between death and sampling is 3 hours, but such donors are rare, and increasing the window to 8 or more hours will greatly increase the number of donors available to study.
Post mortem organ/ tissue sample formats:
Whole hearts, cardiac tissue samples and vascular tissue samples are available fresh, frozen or fixed in 10% NBF. A pathology report is not available, although specific clinical reports, such as details of heart-related operations, may be requested.
Organ/ tissue sample types and sizes:
Working with our partner post mortem donor facilities, we can provide:
- whole hearts
- arteries from any location, including the carotid artery, aorta, pulmonary artery
- veins from any location, including carotid vein, pulmonary vein etc
- any surrounding tissues
- a range of heart diseases, such as those listed above
- normal hearts
Please note: these organs and tissue samples are only available for research purposes. The heart specimens we work with are not approved for in vivo, clinical or transplant use. Unfortunately, we can not accept or register potential specimen donors directly; please contact your clinician, hospice or hospital who will be better placed to provide advice regarding how to donate. Thank you.
Brain, dura, skull, spine/ spinal cord, neural cell clusters/ ganglia and CSF are available, as may specific nerves / neuromuscular junctions. Please note that the gut is also particularly rich in neural tissue, and is reported to share certain CNS characteristics, if you would like to examine another set of nerves for comparison.
Brain tissue can be shipped fresh, frozen, in 10% NBF or FFPE - please see below for an explanation of availability, depending on the tissue type.
Brains from neurologically normal donors, as well as from donors with neurological diseases, can be provided whole or can be provided sectioned.
Tumor tissue types:
Brain tumor samples, such as glioblastoma, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and astrocytoma are already banked in our partner clinical biorepository tumor brain banks.
The amount of normal tissue available from clinical donors is naturally small, if there is any available at all, due the the need to minimize any unnecessary tissue damage.
There may also be abcess, cyst or blastomycosis samples available (these are all very rare) or other infections of the CNS, where CSF collection is required for diagnosis.
These brain tumor tissues are available as FFPE sections or FFPE blocks, or as frozen tissue aliquots. These samples are from clinical donors, and usually have matched FFPE, frozen, serum, plasma and buffy coat from each donor.
CSF may be available, for conditions where this needs to be removed for diagnostic analysis & some is surplus to diagnostic requirements.
Post mortem brain & other tissues
Central Nervous System (CNS)
- including brain & spinal cord, as well as the skull & spine/ particular vertabrae.
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)
- including the Somatic Nervous System (SoNS) and the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) (sympathetic & parasympathetic systems) tissue samples
Normal brains and brain tissue samples / other nervous tissue samples can be banked for you prospectively, as well as brains from donors with stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease & other diseases, although donors with degenerative diseases do not present regularly. We collect prospectively according to your specifications, rather than operating a standing brain bank.
Post mortem interval:
The shortest possible time between death and brain tissue or other neural tissue removal is approximately 3 hours, but donors will be available much more frequently if you can go up to 12 hours or more between death and neural tissue removal.
Brains and brain samples are available fresh, frozen or fixed in 10% NBF. Tissues may be frozen whole at -80, flash frozen in liquid Nitrogen, or flash frozen in liquid Nitrogen vapor. The brain can also be sliced at 1cm intervals on a teflon-coated Aluminium plate and frozen in liquid Nitrogen vapor, in order to maximize the tissues' utility for histology. We will always do our best to facilitate any processing requests - please contact us to discuss further.
Please note: apart from brain tumors specimens from clinical donors, we do not routinely bank brains or other CNS samples in specific brainbanks. This is because we usually prefer to collect specimens prospectively so that they meet your exact requirements in terms of post mortem interval, storage & shipping, donor gender, age, disease & treatment, as well as clinical data required.
Normal skin pieces
Post mortem skin pieces:
- Skin piece source: whole body donors
- Anatomical site: all anatomical sites are available, including scalp, breast skin, abdominal skin, patella skin & all others
- Skin specimen formats:
- fresh skin samples in the buffer or medium of your choice or on ice
- frozen skin specimens
- fixed skin samples in 10% NBF
- Skin piece sizes: all sizes
- Donor ages: mostly 60+
Diseased skin specimens
Post mortem donor samples:
Melanoma tumor samples and normal skin pieces from post mortem donors, any site, any size. Skin samples plus metastatic skin tumor samples from other organs are available. Melanoma donors are a rare population amongst our post mortem donors.
Tissue sample formats:
Frozen, fresh in the buffer or medium of your choice or on ice, or fixed in 10% NBF.
Clinical donor samples:
Metastatic-site-only melanoma tumors are also available from clinical donors.
Tissue sample formats:
matched FFPE blocks, frozen tissue aliquots, serum, plasma and buffy coat from each donor, where available.
Diabetic leg ulcers, pressure sores and other chronic wound tissues are regularly available from post mortem donors.
Tissue sample formats:
Fresh, frozen or fixed in 10% NBF.
Please note: these skin samples are only available for research purposes. The skin specimens we work with are not approved for in vivo, clinical or transplant use. Unfortunately, we can not accept or register skin specimen donors directly; please contact your clinician or hospital who will be better placed to provide advice regarding how to donate skin samples for research locally- thank you for considering this option.
For certain marketing authorization applications, the use of human tissues is deemed essential. Please see the FDA guidance as an example (Specificity of IHC’s).
Tissue and Organ Sample Types:
We can assist by providing the following, either fresh, frozen or in 10% NBF from our post mortem partners, or FFPE, frozen (and sometimes fresh), where available, from our clinical partners.
- Small intestine (Ileum, jejunum / duodenum)
- Salivary Gland
- Bone marrow
We can provide whole samples from the chest wall, abdominal wall, pericardium, gastrointestinal organs, heart and lungs for you to extract the cells of interest.
Skeletal muscle (also bones)
Lung (bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, etc.)
Skin is available (post mortem) from any area, full thickness & including subcutaneous fat, if desired, or clinically as frozen pieces removed during abdominal hernia-type operations.