National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility

Human Placental Bank

A Human Placenta Bank has been established within the University of California, San Francisco SCCPIR center.  Its objective is to acquire, after written informed consent under approved protocols, human placental tissue from well-characterized clinical specimens.  This bank is unique with regard to its composition, consisting of samples from normal singleton pregnancies (first trimester, second trimester and term) and from women who are diagnosed with the major forms of preeclampsia (PE) or preterm birth (PTB).  Currently, the Bank has a collection of archived samples which will be enlarged and made available to SCCPIR investigators and NIH-supported investigators in North America, including those in the NIH intramural research program.

The Bank contains several sample types from the same placenta that are suitable for analyses at the RNA (qRT-PCR, Northern hybridization and in situ hybridization) or protein (immunoblotting and immunolocalization) levels.  Specimens include formalin-fixed tissues embedded in paraffin, paraformaldehyde-fixed samples frozen in optimal cutting temperature medium (OCT), fresh frozen tissue in OCT, and RNA and protein lysates.

The placentas are obtained under protocols approved by the University of California at San Francisco Committee on Human Research (Institutional Review Board; IRB).  In the case of samples that are acquired from women who experience pregnancy complications, the corresponding clinical data for the subjects is compiled and archived.  A secure database is maintained on placental tissue and protein/RNA specimens by QuesGen, a company that provides secure (HIPAA-compliant) internet-based data storage/management.

For further information contact Dr. Susan Fisher (