NHS logoHuman Developmental Biology Resource

Human Developmental Biology ResourceThe MRC/Wellcome Trust Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR) is an ongoing collection of human embryonic and foetal material ranging from 4 to 12 weeks of development.

Services Offered

Clinical Research Platform logoThe HDBR provides human embryonic and fetal tissue for gene expression studies related to congenital disease, including both birth defects and inherited metabolic disorders. Use of the HDBR material should particularly illuminate developmental gene expression underlying aspects of functioning that characterise humans as opposed to lower animals (e.g. higher brain function, language).

This research is essential if we are to introduce new methods for prevention of congenital defects and develop an improved understanding of ‘what makes us human’.

Tissue samples are available to the international scientific community and fresh material can either be sent to registered users without charge, or our Gene Expression Service can carry out projects on users’ behalf providing high quality electronic images and interpretation of gene and protein expression patterns using tissue in situ hybridisation (TISH) and immunohistochemistry techniques.

The HDBR is licensed as a tissue bank by the Human Tissue Authority to collect material between 4 and 14 weeks of gestation. HDBR ethical approval has been approved to extend to all registered UK projects, meaning that users of the bank will not be required to apply for their own ethical approval in most cases.

Material can be provided as paraffin wax or frozen sections of embryonic and fetal tissue for gene expression studies. Fresh tissue may also be requested to be used generate cell lines, stem cells, protein, RNA, cDNA and genomic DNA. Most of the material available is karyotyped and usually this material is provided for research. However, samples with an abnormal karyotype may also be requested to address specific research questions.

We also offer an In House Gene Expression Service (IHGES) which performs in-situ hybridisation or immunocytochemistry experiments conducted to your specification using the human embryonic and foetal material available from the HDBR tissue bank. Assistance with interpretation of results are provided and high quality electronic images of results are provided using our secure web server so that users can easily view their results.

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