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Tissue Quality

We aim to provide tissues of the highest possible quality. We achieve this by following a strict protocol, either by undertaking this ourselves, or training in-house staff to a high standard, providing excellent storage, and keeping in-depth and accurate details of the tissues collected. If a tissue is found to be substandard, tissues can be exchanged free of charge or a refund issued. In this instance, please contact us.

Tissue collection

The protocol for tissue collection was devised by the ShARM management board in consultation with other experts in the field of pathology and ageing research. The protocol describes the process for removing tissues quickly and efficiently, minimizing any damage to the tissue. For frozen samples, all tissues except the gut and brain are removed, placed into cryovials and frozen in liquid nitrogen within 10 minutes of the death of the animal. The brain and gut are removed and frozen within 3 minutes. Frozen samples are transported by courier and are kept on dry ice to prevent thawing episodes. For tissues to be formalin fixed, tissues are immersed in formalin within 6 minutes for the brain and gut and 20 minutes for the remaining tissues.

Tissue storage

Frozen samples are stored in a dedicated -800C freezer within an established, large scale biorepository which is monitored 24 hours. The individual codes assigned to each tissue, and the use of dedicated software for biorepositories (compliant with the HTA), mean that tissues are easily located without the need to unnecessarily expose tissues to ambient temperatures.

Data collection

To accompany the tissues, we collect information regarding the animal’s history, which is available to view and accompanies tissue sales. This information includes information regarding the animal’s husbandry conditions (cage details, food and water regimes, etc.), any welfare issues, the mouse's characteristics (strain, age, sex, etc.), and details of the sacrifice (date, time, method used).