We work with the UK’s Brain Bank Network to source post-mortem brain tissue, in both diseased and non-diseased states. For other human tissue, including biopsies, we maintain a relationship with the University of Birmingham’s Human Biomaterials Resource Centre (HBRC). We also source human tissue from other UK tissue banks, as required.
In all cases, we manage the process of obtaining the tissue. We review the tissue bank’s library to select appropriate material (e.g., with respect to post-mortem delay) and agree this selection with our customer. With regards to ethical approval under the UK’s regulatory framework, we slot in under the relevant tissue bank’s generic protocols, and so need to obtain approval only from that institution’s research ethics committee. We prepare the relevant paperwork and agree this with our customer, in advance of submission.
Rat and Mouse Tissue
Untreated rodent tissue is sourced from a nearby Biomedical Services Unit, such that we have both frozen and fresh tissue available. The latter is of particular use in uptake and release assays. Gifford personnel working with animals are appropriately trained and issued with a Personal License under ASPA.
For treated rodent tissue, we work with a partner company in the UK. We manage the process of satisfying Home Office requirements, agreeing with our customer the content of the relevant form before submission to the partner company. We dispense and ship test compounds to the laboratory where the dosing is then undertaken.
Some customers prefer to send us pre-treated rodent brains for use in their study. These are imported to the UK (from outside the EU) under a general import authorisation. Our guidance on shipping can be found here.
We maintain a stock of post-mortem NHP brain tissue, for use in radioligand binding assays and autoradiography.