Tissue, services and data

Tissue, services and data

The NHS is a major source of tissue, such as surplus material from diagnostic specimens or surgical procedures, and the Biorepository provides managed access to this by the appropriate governance and regulatory requirements.

The Biorepository can also provide access to pathology archive specimens, with appropriate governance and approvals in place. Our experienced staff are based within NHS Lothian Pathology labs (RIE and WGH) and have close links with the department, allowing the Biorepository to utilise the services and expertise available within the department. As a result, we can offer pathology, technical and histological support as required.

The Biorepository also works closely with Laboratory Medicine Blood Sciences to provide surplus diagnostic samples collected via the main hospital sites. This close link not only allows access to the blood and fluid samples but also enables us to provide an additional blood sciences testing service for research purposes. The Research Project Lead, Lisa Wilson (Lisa-marie.Butt@nhs.scot) can offer guidance on all aspects of laboratory tests available to the researchers.

Services we offer

  • Expert consultation for case selections
  • Tissue processing and wax embedding
  • Provision of Archival samples (Blood, virology, microbiology) once the diagnostic needs are met
  • Preparation of slides or sections from paraffin/frozen blocks for Histology special stains, Immunohistochemistry and molecular profiling (Spatial Transcriptomics)
  • Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) and Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining, specialized histology stains
  • Pathology Slide scanning: using state-of-the-art Leica Aperio GT450 DX scanner which is a clinical-grade scanner with high throughput
  • Tissue Micro Arrays (TMAs) Building, hosting and sectioning:- using 3D Histech TMA Master II which is a software-controlled electronic instrument  that automates the creation of tissue microarrays (TMAs)



Tissue samples are more valuable for research when linked to clinical data. The Biorepository approval allows for the provision of limited associated de-identified data. We can also facilitate more complex de-identified associated data through ongoing collaborations with DataLoch. This optimizes the delivery of anonymized linked data through appropriate channels and governance measures.