The Sheffield Biorepository


Guidance for Staff

Guidance below is for staff at the University of Sheffield to help with HTA compliance.


The HTA & Primary cell lines

All material which consists of or includes human cells is covered by the Human tissue Act (HT Act) and includes the initial isolation of cells for primary culture. Once the cells have divided outside the body they are no longer considered to be covered by the act.

The following provides guidance on the Schools procedures for the use of Primary cell lines obtained from tissue direct or via a commercial source.

Liquid Nitrogen TankIsolated primary Cells

If isolating primary human cells from tissue you must have obtained ethical approval for the project, see information for research ethics applicants, this will ensure you have considered all the implications relating to consent, storage, use and disposal.

Commercially obtained Primary Cells

Although it could be assumed that primary cell lines obtained from commercial sources will have been culture outside the human body for at least one passage and so not covered by the HT Act, the school has decided to put in place the following procedure:

  • The supplier will be contacted before purchasing Primary cell lines to request information regarding the HT Act and ethical sourced material.
  • Upon receipt of the cell line the Primary cell line form should be completed.
  • If the Cell line is to be sub cultured immediately, then once passaged the form should be signed off and returned to Room EU17.
  • If the cell line is to be stored before use then it must be placed in a licensed bank until required. Again once the cell line is defrosted then a form should be completed and returned to Room EU17.

At the end of a project the all remaining cells must be destroyed in an approved manner (see SOPs).


Pictures around the Biorepository