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Moorfields Biobank

Introduction


Moorfields Biobank is a collection of tissues donated as a resource to doctors and researchers for the purpose of medical research into the causes of blindness and eye disease.

The Biobank was set up in June 2010 as a joint project between the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital to facilitate vision and eye research.

Regulatory Framework


Moorfields Biobank has been ethically approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee as a research tissue bank.

Moorfields Biobank stores tissues under the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology’s Human Tissue Authority Research License, and the bank is located at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology’s Department of Pathology.


Information for Patients


We are very grateful to all those who have donated tissue to Moorfields Biobank, as these donations help us to look into the causes of blindness and other eye diseases, and help us to develop new treatments and procedures for the future.

When samples arrive into the Moorfields Biobank, they are anonymised and given a unique reference number, so no-one can by identified from their donations.  Only relevant clinical information is released to researchers.

Patients are identified as suitable donors by the direct healthcare team responsible for their care, who can then discuss the option of donation of samples to the Moorfields Biobank.

Donation After Death


Moorfields Biobank works closely with Moorfields Eye Bank, based at Moorfields Eye Hospital, to help increase the donation of eye tissue for both therapeutic use and medical research.

Eye tissue donated for therapeutic purposes can be used in sight saving operations such as cornea transplants. One pair of donated eyes can provide treatment for up to eight different individuals; each cornea can be transplanted, while each sclera (the white tissue around the eye) can be divided into three and used for glaucoma surgery. Where research consent exists, tissues donated for medical research can be used to look into the causes of blindness and other eye diseases as well as to develop new treatments for the future.

If you would like more information on therapeutic donation after death, please contact Moorfields Eye Bank on 020 7253 1199.

Register as an Organ Donor


If you would like to be an organ donor you need to discuss your wishes with your friends and family. You can also express your wishes on the organ donor register. Forms are available from GP surgeries, chemists and hospitals, and online: Register to become an organ donor.

The Human Tissue Act 2004 clarified the consent status of someone who has died, and your wishes and those of your family are paramount.

Contact Details


If you would like further information regarding Moorfields Biobank or donating tissue for medical research, please contact Moorfields Biobank:

Email: moorfieldsbiobank@ucl.ac.uk

Address:

Moorfields Biobank
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
11-43 Bath Street
London
EC1V 9EL

Withdrawal of Consent


Patients who donate tissue samples to the Moorfields Biobank are free to withdraw their consent at any time, without giving a reason, and this will not affect your treatment or legal rights in any way. Withdrawal of consent can be arranged by contacting Moorfields Biobank (contact details above). There is no time limit associated with withdrawal of consent and donors are free to withdraw their consent at any time. If consent is withdrawn, Moorfields Biobank will arrange for the appropriate disposal, where possible, of any samples still remaining.

Information for Researchers


If you are interested in finding out more about the collection of tissues currently held at Moorfields Biobank or would like access to ethically-approved tissue for eye-related research, please contact us by email at the address above. Applications will be reviewed by our internal Ethics Committee within three weeks.

Researchers at the Institute can access the Moorfields Biobank intranet page (UCL log-in required).

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