Tissue procurement can be defined as the administration of organs or tissues for transplantation. It involves a variety of programs, systems, organizations, and procedures. Tissue harvesting, or organ harvesting, is a procedure that involves surgery. This is particularly relevant for molecular diagnostics.

Muscle procuring shared facilities increases the efficiency and power of cancer researchers by providing access to high-quality tissue specimens (malignant or normal, benign, or diseased), along with histological and demographic data and histology services. It also provides expertise in the informational analysis of tissue samples. 

Tissue Procurement

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The TPSF is a state-of-the-art, centralized, investigator-driven tissue procurement system that streamlines functionality and incorporates new technologies in standard operating procedures for sample collection, processing, storage, and data tracking. Investigators can receive specimens either fresh, frozen, or repaired.

Tissue accrual and disbursement functions of TARPS enable patients to receive fresh, frozen, and paraffin-embedded tissues as well as biological specimens. TARPS specifically provides:

  • Preservation and procurement of biological and tissue specimens
  • Access to the UPMC paraffin archives
  • Preservation and filing specimens
  • Researchers need to retrieve specimens
  • Provide sub-sampled tissue specimens
  • Data entry of associated data on specimens purchased
  • When applicable, access to annotated medical data
  • Periodic quality control of specimens taken

Tissue Utilization Committees:

The priority order in which specimens are distributed is determined by the number of investigators who are involved in that particular field. Organ-specific Tissue Utilization Committees, (TUC), discuss and plan future research directions for the program. They also evaluate policies and procedures to ensure that tissue and biological materials are available for promising research projects. Each committee makes recommendations to the Pitt Biospecimen Core personnel regarding the priority distribution of tissues.