According to data from the Red de Investigación Renal (renal investigation network), over four million Spaniards suffer from some type of chronic renal disease, out of which 20,000 require dialysis. With the objective of finding new treatments against these afflictions, the first Spanish bio bank of renal tissues has been founded.
Located at the faculty of medicine at the University of Alcalá and belonging to the Red de Investigación Renal, the bank will allow Spanish researchers to work together as a network to find the factors, genetic or not, that predispose or influence people suffering from these diseases.
This way, the 26 different research groups and associated clinical labs that currently form the network will send biological samples from renal patients to the bank, maintaining a stored sample data base that will allow for unprecedented coordination and sharing of information within the research network, as opposed to each team working individually.
The Banco Nacional Renal (renal national bank), the second one of its kind in the whole of Europe, preceded only by the one in England, is an initiative of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. At present, it only stores blood and urine samples from patients that give their consent, but in the near future, it will also receive samples of tissue and peritoneal fluid. Samples are transported in a special packaging from the hospitals to the bio bank.
Once there, they are kept in a dry storage tank with a capacity of up to 30 litres, two further tanks with a capacity for 180 litres, and a vertical freezer capable of storing 500 litres at temperatures ranging from–80ºC to –190ºC. With the current equipment the bank can store up to 22,000 samples, and to avoid the possibility of losing the valuable samples the Banco Nacional Renal has a triple security system. At the moment field tests are being held using only 700 proportional testing samples out of 150 samples from patients.
Citing Mr Manuel Rodríguez Puyol physiology professor at the University of Alcalá and the director of the bio bank, basic and clinical research that takes place within the Red de Investigación Renal will benefit from access to a wider range of scientific material than each team would normally be able to gather by their own investigations.
Oficina de Información Científic | alfa
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