Dr Sean Lal, Director Sydney Heart Bank
Bio-banking in health care has evolved over the last few decades from simple biological sample repositories to complex and dynamic units with multi-organisational infrastructure networks. Together, the Baird Institute, RPAH and University of Sydney have established Australia’s first comprehensive Cardiovascular Surgery Bio-banking Program. Tissues are procured from aortic surgery, valvular surgery and myomectomy surgery (to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and cryopreserved at the state-of-the-art bio-banking facility at the University of Sydney. These tissues can then be used to facilitate translational research into the mechanisms of vascular disease and heart failure and hopefully lead to new therapeutic targets being discovered.
The figure adjacent shows how human heart tissue can be safely biopsied from the right atrium – only 2mg of tissue is needed to facilitate an analysis of some 4500 proteins in the human heart, which can then be undertaken in our research laboratories at the University of Sydney.