Services & Policies

Click to view Services and Policies Document

The MCW Tissue Bank offers the following services:

  • Plasma from whole blood
  • Buffy coat from whole blood
  • Fresh tissue procurement
  • Snap frozen tissue
  • OCT embedded tissue
  • Unstained slides
  • H&E stained slides (from frozen tissue)
  • Slide scanning
  • Frozen tissue QC
  • DNA from blood or tissue
  • RNA from blood or tissue
  • Satellite banking of specimens
  • Storage of specimens

If there is interest in services not listed above, the MCW Tissue Bank staff will work with investigators to determine feasibility of additional services whenever possible.

Specimen Banking

Once a clinical specimen arrives in Pathology, nothing is allowed to leave the premises until it has been clinically evaluated. It is the responsibility of the MCW Tissue Bank Pathologists’ Assistant, Dynacare Pathologists’ Assistants, Pathology residents, and/or Pathologists to make all clinical evaluations and determine what can be released for research purposes.

The MCW Tissue Bank will never compromise integrity of specimens and their subsequent clinical diagnoses for research purposes.

  • Preserving the integrity of the clinical diagnosis is the number one priority of the Pathology Department and of the MCW Tissue Bank personnel.
  • Some specimens with small quantities may not be banked.

MCW Tissue Bank Hours of Operation

Outside of the MCW Tissue Bank’s working hours, on holidays and weekends, tissue will not be banked or distributed for research purposes. Tissue bank staff and pathology residents are not to be paged to procure tissue during these times. The only time there may be an exception to this policy is if a specimen is received in pathology for the purpose of an intraoperative consultation. At that time, the pathologist performing the intraoperative consultation may provide tissue for research purposes as long as it does not compromise the integrity of the specimen and the subsequent clinical diagnosis, or require access to the banking facility.

MCW Tissue Bank is open only Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. MCW Tissue Bank is closed on all scheduled MCW holidays, on weekends and after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

Specimen Requests

All requests for specimens of the central MCW Tissue Bank must go through the appropriate processes:

  1. Provide the MCW Tissue Bank with completed request form
  2. Obtain approval from  the Utilization Committee
  3. Obtain approval from the  Executive Committee
  4. Obtain approval from the IRB
  5. Provide the MCW Tissue Bank with the final request form approved by the IRB and the approved IRB smartform

Turnaround Time for Specimen Processing & Distribution

Once Executive Committee approval is made for specimens stored in the Bank, an allowance of up to two weeks turnaround time for receipt of specimens should be expected.

If requests require additional time for processing, the research team will be notified.

Budget & Cost of Services

The MCW Tissue Bank will provide researchers who have obtained Executive Committee approval a final budget for cost of all services provided by the Bank.

IRB Protocol Approval or Waivers

Researchers must provide the MCW Tissue Bank with a copy of the IRB protocol approval or waiver letter for the intended protocol fulfillment before any MCW Tissue Bank services begin.

Specimen Sign Out & Distribution

All specimens leaving the MCW Tissue Bank for research purposes must be signed out by the person physically taking the specimen from the Bank and be attributed to the appropriate IRB protocol.

The MCW Tissue Bank will only distribute specimens to MCW faculty members. This does not prohibit collaboration with other/outside investigators, but requires that an MCW faculty member must be the main contact for distribution of all specimens from the Bank.

Reporting Results

Results from research using specimens from the MCW Tissue Bank must be reported back to the Tissue Bank once a mechanism for doing so is available. This will allow specimens that are housed in the bank the ability to be associated with research results that may have been found utilizing that same specimen in previously approved research. This can eliminate duplication of research efforts on the same specimens. There is currently not a mechanism in place to do this, but is planned for the future through the de-identified clinical data warehouse (a separate data bank).

Study Suspension or Termination

In an instance where a study becomes suspended or terminated for any reason, it is the responsibility of the study’s PI to immediately notify the MCW Tissue Bank in writing (email will be acceptable) that it has occurred, and all distribution of specimens will cease.

Offsite Collaborations

MCW researchers interested in sharing specimens with offsite collaborators must have the following in place before receiving specimens:

  1. Material Transport Agreement (MTA)
  2. Biological Shipment Training

If you have any questions about MTAs, please contact April Haverty | 955-4844.
For access to Biological Shipping training, contact