Patient participation is voluntary and not linked in any way to clinical care. It involves the collection, processing and storage of tissues that would otherwise be discarded following a medical procedure. No additional tissue is taken for research purposes.
This provides our scientists with a highly valuable resource that is essential for many of our research projects. Patient confidentiality is a priority and all tissue samples are stored anonymously and only identified by a code.
Participant privacy is protected at all times. Our researchers are trained to ensure that the tissue samples are used responsibly and respectfully. Any data arising from our research is presented and/or published so that tissue donors cannot be identified.
This tissue bank has been successfully maintained and added to since the beginning of the laboratory in 1998. It consists of a collection of, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues that are used for microscopy, frozen samples stored in a -80°C freezer that are preserved for later analysis using molecular and biochemical techniques and viable cells that are cryopreserved and stored frozen in liquid nitrogen (-196°C) that can be thawed at a later date and used for the study of live cells by flow cytometry.
Cells, DNA, RNA and proteins can all be analysed from the stored tissues and facilitate medical research in many ways. The Ballarat Health Services and St John of God Health Care (BHS & SJOGHC) Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this tissue bank. HREC approval must also be obtained for all current and future projects planning to use samples from the tissue bank, to ensure that the project is scientifically worthwhile and to protect the interests of donors.
We could not conduct much of our research without our tissue bank. We wish to thank these anonymous donors for their contributions.