LifeSpan has established extensive tissue resources in order to support its contract research services (tissues are not for sale as independent products). These resources include a massive internal collection of over 2 million tissue specimens, normal and diseased tissue microarrays, and a network of commercial and academic partners that can fulfill custom tissue requests. To ensure availability of the most commonly requested tissues, LifeSpan has prioritized its tissue procurement efforts on the most prominent therapeutic area tissues, such as CNS, metabolic disorders, and inflammatory disease. By combining these resources with expertise in pathology, tissue quality control, and immunohistochemistry, LifeSpan can provide full service localization profiling, without requiring the client to source difficult to obtain reagents.
With more than 2 million formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples, LifeSpan has one of the largest on-site collections of normal and diseased human tissues in the industry. This resource provides LifeSpan with the range of samples necessary to pinpoint gene expression specific to a given disease and stage. LifeSpan's tissue bank is comprised of tissues from all major organ systems, including samples representing more than 1,500 diagnostic categories. Specimens are in the form of both formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded specimens as well as fresh frozen.
Tissue microarrays (TMAs) are a cost-effective and convenient resource that enables researchers to simultaneously study protein localization patterns in large numbers of normal and diseased tissues. LifeSpan can supply TMAs for use in LSBio Immunohistochemistry Studies. When using tissue microarrays, two critical factors need to be considered:
When designing a study, LifeSpan ensures that the tissues used will be adequate to answer the biological question being asked. For example, cancer TMAs would be insufficient when studying the angiogenesis associated with tumor development. When arrays are used in a study they are rigorously tested to ensure that each specimen was fixed appropriately, exhibits the defined pathology, and is antigenic when tested in immunohistochemistry using control antibodies.
LifeSpan often conducts contract research studies using tissue materials supplied by the client or procured from other commercial resources. Studies are often strengthened by the inclusion of over-expressing cell lines (when available) as antibody characterization positive controls. Human tissues, non-human tissues, and cell lines can be supplied in fixative for paraffin embedding or as prepared paraffin blocks.
An increasing number of TMAs have become available commercially, however, quality may vary from vendor to vendor. These reagents can be powerful tools for localization profiling, but care must be taken during interpretation to ensure accuracy of results. LifeSpan welcomes the use of such commercial tissue resources in its contract research studies and offers its extensive molecular pathology expertise to ensure that the quality of these materials is such that we would be able to provide reliable immunohistological data.
In the event that specific tissue specimens are not immediately available from LifeSpan's internal tissue bank, Lifespan has the ability to procure these materials on a prospective basis. The relationships that LifeSpan has developed with external resources allows for timely tissue procurement, often at a preferred price. Tissue procurement is available only in conjunction with the execution of contract research services.