NHS logoHuman Developmental Biology Resource

Human Developmental Biology ResourceThe MRC/Wellcome Trust Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR) is a unique tissue bank providing the international scientific community with an ongoing collection of human embryonic and fetal material ranging from 3 to 20 weeks of development.

Services Offered

Clinical Research Platform logoEmbryonic and fetal tissue

The HDBR provides human embryonic and fetal tissue that is used for scientific and medical advancement, primarily for studies into congenital disease and to uncover the underlying developmental processes that characterise what makes us human (eg higher brain function, language).

Researchers can request access to tissue - which is available free of charge - following registration with the resource. The HDBR is a licensed HTA tissue bank and as our research ethics approval extends to cover all registered UK projects, most UK users of the bank will not be required to apply for their own ethics approval.

Tissue is available to be used to generate cell lines or to isolate stem cells, and can be provided as paraffin wax blocks or sectioned on to microscope slides for gene expression studies. Protein, RNA, cDNA and genomic DNA extracted from specific stages and tissues can also be supplied.

Projects are registered for a £300 annual registration fee and there is a small charge for some services.

In House Gene Expression Service (IHGES)

Through the IHGES we can provide users with images of human embryonic and fetal gene and protein expression by performing in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry experiments on their behalf. Assistance with interpretation of the results is offered and high quality electronic images of results can be viewed using our secure web server.

HuDseN Atlas and Gene Expression Database

The Human Developmental Studies Network Atlas and Gene Expression Database (HuDSeN.org) are based on a series of anatomically defined virtual 3D models of human embryos and fetuses. Gene expression images have been mapped to the models to allow researchers to view 3-dimensional gene expression patterns in the developing human. As the anatomical domains are linked to developmental anatomy ontology, expression patterns can be searched using a gene name or an anatomical structure.

Further information: