GCU Skin Research Tissue Bank

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The GCU Skin Research Tissue Bank is a collection of human tissue and cells donated by patients with conditions such as type 2 diabetes and critical limb ischaemia. We also receive donations from healthy patients undergoing elective surgery. The tissue bank has been in operation since 2011 and we work with a network of surgeons in the Glasgow area alongside the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Biorepository. Our ethical oversight and approval is provided by the NHS East of Scotland Research Ethics Service.

Our primary research interest concerns diabetic foot ulceration and the impairment of wound healing, and we aim to use material from the tissue bank to model this condition and investigate potential therapeutic targets. We are also able to supply tissue and cells to external applicants requiring access to human material for medical research.

We currently receive funding from the Animal Free Research (formerly the Dr Hadwen Trust), the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity. The development of human cell and tissue-based models to replace animal experiments is a key part of our current focus.

Materials available

We have received tissue donations from nearly 100 patients (diabetic and non-diabetic) and currently hold a large stock of skin tissue and cells available for medical research.

  • Fixed, wax embedded skin tissue
  • Primary dermal fibroblasts
  • Primary epidermal keratinocytes
  • Frozen skin tissue for DNA, RNA or protein extraction

Please get in touch to request an application form for access to samples. Applications will be assessed by the GCU Skin Research Tissue Bank Committee and approved on the basis of their scientific merit.

There is no charge for access to samples but applicants are expected to cover transport costs and supply appropriate customs declarations where necessary. Successful applicants are also expected to provide annual research updates and include an acknowledgement in all publications using material supplied by the tissue bank. Further details are available on request.

Research Papers

Monteforte AJ, Lam B, Das S, Mukhopadhyay S, Wright CS, Martin PE, Dunn AK, Baker AB.

Glypican-1 nanoliposomes for potentiating growth factor activity in therapeutic angiogenesis. Biomaterials

2016 Jul; 94:45-56



Das S, Singh G, Majid M, Sherman MB, Mukhopadhyay S, Wright CS, Martin PE, Dunn AK, Baker AB. Syndesome Therapeutics for Enhancing Diabetic Wound Healing.

Advanced Healthcare Materials

2016 Jul 6 [Epub ahead of print]


Media and Links

Greenhough S: How long until we can print human faces in the lab?


2016 Mar


Dr Hadwen Trust: Improving access to human material for diabetes research: developing the Glasgow Caledonian University research tissue bank for diabetic and non-diabetic skin.




GCU: Diabetes research boost from Dr Hadwen Trust


2014 Aug