To get a clear idea about our project, it is important to understand the company we are doing it for, of course. And that is exactly what you are going to read in this blog.
Regea Cell and Tissue Center is a clinical tissue bank located in Tampere. It’s part of the Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences at the University of Tampere. The bank procures, processes and supplies different kinds of tissue transplants for clinical use: bones, tendons, amniotic membranes and corneas. Regea also produces adipose tissue derived stem cell products.
Tissue transplants are used for various illnesses and injuries. The donation procedure starts with an initial screening of the donor. The suitability for tissue donation is based on the potential donor’s medical and social background, and he/she must also be screened for certain infectious diseases.
Next, the procurement is undertaken by Regea’s specialist procurement teams in the hospital or mortuary depending on the tissue in question. The tissue transplants are immediately stored in specific temperature for each tissue type: for example +31°C for cornea or -80°C for bones and tendons.
Bone and tendon transplants don’t need further processing after procurement and they can be stored up to 5 years. Corneal and amniotic membrane transplants undergo a specific process before they can be released for clinical use. Processing of the cornea can take up to 30 days after which it can be preserved for maximum of 5 days before the transplantation surgery.
Processing and storing tissues at the tissue bank ensures that the tissues stay intact and can be taken out when there’s need for a certain tissue in a hospital. This is a difference between tissue and organ transplants, as organ donation must happen immediately whereas tissues can be used within a considerably longer period of time.
Regea makes sure that tissues are distributed to the hospital where they are needed. Regea uses a database to coordinate necessary information, such as the availability of tissues. Also the procurement, testing, processing, storage and allocation of tissues is based on this database. That’s how Regea knows exactly how many tissues to have in stock in order to help as many people as possible.
The Regea team consists of 15 employees that work very hard to help as much people as possible in need. Most of the employees work in the laboratory. During our project, Sari, Tiia and Jukka are helping us with the necessary support and information needed for our Demola project.
Regea is a high quality tissue bank that cooperates with a lot of different hospitals. There is so much knowledge in the bank, and we have been learning so much by working together with them during this Demola project. Thanks to Regea, the quality of many lives have been improved!