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HSPS - Information For Researchers

St. Joseph's Human Specimen Procurement Service (HSPS) operates according to a St. Joseph's Hospital and Institutional Review Board approved protocol for tissue acquisition.

Patient anonymity and confidentiality are also preserved, as each case is assigned a unique tissue bank barcode number that is used in lieu of patient identifiers when tissue is released to researchers. HSPS is not "targeted" towards a particular tissue type. Most tissue specimens are snap frozen in liquid nitrogen. We also have cell lines and frozen blood to match some of the solid tissue samples.

To insure that valuable tissue samples are optimally utilized, a review Committee has been formed to evaluate and oversee tissue requests from IRB approved protocols to determine the minimum useful amount of tissue required, the manner in which the tissue is to be supplied, prioritize banked sample requests, and ensure the research is consistent with St. Joseph's mission and goals. Members of the Committee are from several clinical and basic science departments in and outside of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

Recovery Reimbursement

HSPS specializes in the recovery of solid and fluid tissue for research purposes. A recovery reimbursement fee is assessed to the requesting researcher for the recovery of each specimen. This fee covers the actual procurement of the specimen and all costs associated with recovery and processing including personnel, supplies and equipment, and administrative and facility fees.

Tissue Specimen Preservation

The three standard methods are as follows (special requests for preservation or processing may be accommodated):

1. Fresh-Solid Tissue
Specimens can be provided in media of choice, in saline, or dry, either at room temperature or on wet ice. Specimens can be shipped overnight on the day they are collected for delivery to the investigator's laboratory the following morning.

2. Frozen-Solid Tissue
Specimens can be snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen. Specimens can be shipped on dry-ice overnight as they are collected or stored for batch shipment of multiple specimens at intervals or completion of collection. Fixed-Solid Tissue Specimens can be provided wet-fixed, as paraffin blocks, or as stained or unstained slides.

3. Fluid Specimens
Specimens can be refrigerated at 4 degrees Celsius or frozen in -20 or -80 degrees Celsius or liquid nitrogen.

Process In Acquiring Tissue Specimens

Investigators are required to pay shipping charges. Please follow these steps to request tissue:

1. Download Tissue Request Form
Once completed, email to [email protected] or fax to HSPS at 602.406.4705.

2. Fax or email completed tissue request form along with the follow documents:

  • IRB Approval Letter from either St. Joseph's IRB or other local or Central IRB (not required if only inquiring about availability prior to IRB submission)
  • Final protocol
  • Completed Business Agreement, if applicable
  • Completed Distribution of Biological Materials Agreement, if applicable
  • Specific shipping instructions

3. Tissue Request Review
The HSPS staff will review each request as to availability of tissue. A HSPS staff member will call you with the availability. If tissue is available or soon will be, your request will be forwarded to the Tissue Review Committee for approval or denial.

4. Tissue Shipment
Tissue is shipped upon approval of the request by the Committee. If the tissue is not currently available we will send it as it is collected in batches to be agreed upon.

The researcher is notified when tissue is shipped. Each shipment contains a packing slip detailing sample number and tissue description. Upon receipt, please mark accepted or not accepted and indicate reason for not accepting, then fax back to 602.406.4705.

5. Billing and Payment
An invoice will be mailed to you after you receive the shipment of tissue. Please determine if your institution requires a purchase order BEFORE the tissue is sent. Payment is expected within 30 days following receipt of the invoice.

Learn More About Acquiring Tissue Specimens At St. Joseph's

To learn more or for any questions regarding the Human Specimen Procurement Service at St. Joseph's, call (602) 406-4700.