The use of human tissue is a crucial element for medical research charged with developing new drugs and treatments for human disease. In order to maintain the integrity of the research and development, and the health and safety of the laboratories and staff, it is essential that all products are handled and interrogated in a sensible and responsible manner.
In the context of this guidance, human tissue is assumed as being materials such as blood samples, tissue samples and urine. It also includes any other constituent of study originating from the human body.
It also assumes that any necessary consents for the use of the materials has been sought and granted.
The handling and using of all human origin materials should be carried out in a tightly controlled and regulated environment. As well as all persons handling the material being immunised against viruses including Hepatitis B, the use of a biohazard safety cabinet is fundamental.
All operational staff using the materials must have completed adequate training, directly provided by a senior member of personnel accordingly.
This training must include a practical assessment, and cover all relevant standard operating procedures (SOP). The SOP studies must include the use of a biological safety cabinet, centrifuges and all other relevant equipment.
It is also vital that a full risk assessment has been completed and signed off on all SOP being used. It is essential that all staff have a full understanding of this risk assessment, and are signatories to the procedural documents.
As well as completing the relevant training and ongoing testing, the handling and movement of human tissues must also be controlled. This includes working with them only in designated areas within the labs.
In addition to these essential tips, each laboratory may have its own specific training, testing and usage advice. It is the responsibility of all operational individuals to check they understand these advices in full before commencing work.