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Primary Tissue Pipeline

The Primary Tissue Pipeline aims to facilitate the access to primary human tissue and to support researchers at Charité in using primary tissue for research projects. In this way, human-based methods can be strengthened and additionally established at the Charité.


Dr. Karin Schmelz, 

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Biomedical research requires primary material

As the largest university hospital in Europe, the Charité combines patient care with a large biomedical research centre. During numerous operations and examinations, tissue is removed from patients that is only partially used for diagnostics. For biomedical research, this so-called primary material can be essential and very valuable. With the help of the removed tissue, 3D organ and tissue models can be created in the laboratory, which can greatly improve the understanding of disease mechanisms. There is also a responsibility to patients to analyse the primary material in full depth in conjunction with clinical data, thus advancing the development of personalised medicine.

What are the goals of the Primary Tissue Pipeline?

The Primary Tissue Pipeline aims to facilitate access to primary, human tissue and cells for researchers at Charité and to close the gap in collaboration with existing Charité institutions. Without access to high-quality patient samples, approaches to establish human disease models and the possibilities of personalised therapy, for example, cannot be pursued. The Charité 3R-funded network project „Turning clinical waste into scientific gold“ has recognised and addressed this need. An infrastructure for collecting biosamples was established for the scientific questions of the network.

With the Primary Tissue Pipeline, Charité 3R will extend this infrastructure for other tissues to the entire Charité and make it widely usable. The initiative serves as a central point of contact and takes on a pilot function in order to make the best possible use of the existing infrastructures and Core Facilities at Charité (for example ZeBanC, BIH Bioportal and CUSCO).

Service offer for Charité scientists

The Primary Tissue Pipeline supports your research projects by identifying and contacting donating surgical or other clinical departments as well as the institute for pathology. The platform initiates and coordinates the logistics for collecting and delivering samples to your research laboratory. Sample collection in the operating theatre and transport to your research laboratory will be organized closely aligned to subsequent use and analysis - after resection, in specific media. The Primary Tissue Pipeline offers support in setting up SOPs in consultation with the Charité Core Facilities The ZeBanC is available for the storage of samples (among other offered services). In order to define the requirements of the primary samples for your research project more precisely, we ask you to send us a sample request form. We can also assist you in obtaining an ethics vote for your project. More information here.

Charité 3R provides the Primary Tissue Pipeline as a service for Charité researchers to facilitate access to primary tissue for specific research projects. The pipeline provides support, especially at the beginning, in setting up the logistics for the delivery of primary tissue to the research laboratory. The initiative serves as a central point of contact and takes on a pilot function in order to make the best possible use of the existing infra-structures and core facilities at Charité (outer circle: ZeBanC: Central Biobank of Charité, AMBIO: Advanced Medical Bioimaging Core Facility, iPath: Immunopathology).

Sample request form

Please use the sample request form to describe the sample requirements within your research project and send the completed form to We will schedule an appointment to discuss details and how we can best support you. If you have any questions in advance, please feel free to contact us.

Sample request form

Support in the application for an ethics vote

The pre-requisite for the use of primary human material for research purposes is an existing ethics vote. The Charité 3R-funded network project "Turning clinical waste into scientific gold" has obtained a basic ethics vote for the biobanking of primary tissue and cells from the Charité ethics committee. Under specific consitions, new research projects can refer to this basis vote and thus greatly simplify their own application. The own ethics application needs only to describe the own research project (inclusion/exclusion criteria, use...), while for the risks assessment by sample collection or the data protection guarentees, reference can be made to the basic ethics vote. Contact us for more information on this.


Dr. Karin Schmelz 
Charité 3R | Research coordination
Primary Tissue Pipeline 

Tel. +49 30 450 680179