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Oxford Radcliffe Biobank (ORB) logo

Available Samples

Pipetting serumThe Oxford Radcliffe Biobank (ORB) prospectively collects and stores tissue and blood donated by patients undergoing treatment at the Oxford University Hospitals Trust on a project-specific basis to best meet the particular requirements of the project. 

The ORB also provides a regulatory umbrella to satisfy Human Tissue Authority licensing requirements for access to existing archives of samples whether collected under ORB ethics or an equivalent alternative, subject to the latter satisfying due diligence checks that appropriate ethical approval and consent exists to allow the proposed use.

The ORB aims to streamline access to these prospectively and retrospectively collected human samples. Collection methods can be designed to meet specific research requirements. 

Tissue collection is undertaken for a variety of research purposes and, where possible, diseased and normal samples are collected from each patient. Various formats of samples are collected, including fresh-frozen and paraffin-embedded. Basic anonymised data sets are supplied, including gender, age at time of operation and histological diagnosis. Additional data may be available upon request. 

Applications for accessing ORB samples and data as well as associated services should be made through the Oxford Centre for Histopathology Research (OCHRe). Please visit the OCHRe website for further information on applying for samples.

It is a condition of supply for researchers to acknowledge the ORB in any publications or presentations resulting from the use of the samples. 

Researchers outside of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or University of Oxford will be required to complete a Material Transfer Agreement.

Sample Hosting

The Oxford Radcliffe Biobank provides a limited sample hosting service in secure, HTA-compliant facilities. Samples are stored in vapour phase liquid nitrogen or -80°C freezers, and paraffin-embedded samples in dedicated filing systems. 

Emergency call out and contingency facilities are in place and each freezer / vessel is temperature monitored and regularly maintained. The sample storage facilities are secure, with controlled and monitored access. 

Samples are tracked using an inventory management system which logs the location of samples, along with associated data, and provides a comprehensive audit trail. Audits are routinely carried out to check that ORB processes and procedures are working and being adhered to. 

Applications for sample hosting should be made to ORB management at