Navigating tissue banking regulation: conceptual frameworks for researchers, administrators, regulators and policy-makers.

19 November 2014

In the “post-genomic” age of biomedical research, researchers often wish to utilise collections of human tissue. This type of research raises many ethical and legal issues and anyone wishing to use such collections is faced with an enormously complex set of regulatory requirements, many of which are still ambiguous, reflecting ongoing ethical and legal debate. Whilst there is no way of entirely avoiding such regulatory complexity and ambiguity, conceptual frameworks can assist those who wish to use, administer, authorise and generate policy on tissue banking research. Two conceptual frameworks are described here: a taxonomy of tissue banking practices, aimed at assisting those who need to ensure that tissue banks meet ethical and legal requirements; and a “syncretic” approach to policy-making, for those who wish to generate new policy,or streamline existing policy relating to tissue banking research