Nathan Mairs with one of the centrifuges in Salford Biorepository laboratory

Salford Biorepository Facility

The Salford Biorepository Facility (SBF) is located in purpose built laboratories in the Clinical Sciences Building at Salford Royal.

It provides support and advice to clinicians and lead researchers to facilitate the collection of biomaterial for clinical trials and ethically approved biomedical research by safely processing, storing and distributing thousands of human samples each year from consenting patients and volunteers.

The SBF operates within Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Human Tissue Authority (HTA) standards.

It runs more than 10 ultra-low temperature freezers that operate at -75°C to ensure they are optimally preserved for future biomedical research. All equipment is serviced and calibrated annually, and each freezer has its temperature automatically logged and recorded every 30 minutes to a central database that can be accessed remotely. To further safeguard samples, the lockable freezers are equipped with emergency CO2 cylinder backup located across several laboratories and the use of air-conditioned rooms. Experienced staff provide customised training and day to day support to all laboratory users to ensure efficient running and continued regulatory compliance.

The Salford Biorepository Facility is a member of the Greater Manchester Biobanking Network which aims to facilitate improved collaboration and the sharing of best practice across the region.

Cell and tissue function

Patient cells and tissues are investigated to understand how they function in health and disease. These include leucocytes, endothelial, epithelial and connective tissue cells, and a specialised facility for assessing gut tissue function ex vivo. A number of human cell lines are also maintained to determine effects of drugs and experimental materials as well and for bioassay.

Histology

The SBF has a full range of facilities for preparing and optically analysing fixed and frozen tissue specimens, including image analysis. It specialises in histopathological analysis of brain tissue.

Molecular and genetic analysis

The SBF undertakes a range of molecular diagnostic techniques for analysis of human genes and proteins in clinical samples, including single and multiplex immunoassay, real-time PCR, chromatography and immunoblotting. The development and standardisation of new assays and their clinical evaluation, particularly in the analysis of biomarkers of inflammation and infection is a strength.