The First From Cambridge - Tissue Samples Storage & Archiving

“ I have people asking me why we don’t do the storage and archiving ourselves… If we were to do it the costs involved simply wouldn’t add up – using CellNass is a no-brainer!”

Did you know that the CellNass Service has now been operating for well over 10 years!

Since the initial concept the facilities have seen expansion 3 times and if you visit the headquarters today you’ll discover a state-of-the-art purpose-built archiving solution designed with the customer in mind. But why exactly did our first customer choose CellNass? To find out this and more – including their experiences of using CellNass for the best part of decade – we interviewed Ian Sturgess, Histopathology Manager at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

“I’ve been at Addenbrooke’s for 7 years,” says Ian. “So I did inherit the CellNass system but it’s been so valuable, trouble-free and efficient that there’s never been any question about changing. I hear of very few problems so that’s got to be a good sign!”

Addenbrooke’s is a hospital connected to Cambridge University, providing care for the community while retaining a strong research focus. A tissue bank is maintained for research and education and samples here are kept for a long period (with samples recently sent to CellNass dating back to the 40’s and 50’s). With medical and tissue bank staff there are approximately 160 employees performing tests – with full consent of course – on 900,000 specimen samples a year.

“Normally there’s a legal requirement for slides to be kept for 10 years and blocks for 30 years, but due to the important research we conduct here it makes sense for our blocks and slides to be kept for much longer, potentially indefinitely– they’re a valuable resource that helps us find cures and discover new insight. The 24-hour turnaround retrieval request process available with CellNass plays an important role – when my team need to retrieve blocks/slides it’s a very easy and efficient process.”

Before deciding to opt for CellNass’ system Addenbrooke’s kept their tissue samples on-site.

So why was the change needed?

“CellNass are not just a storage facility: They collect, archive, ensure optimum conditions for tissue samples and have HTA certification, which is essential. Occasionally I have people asking me why we don’t do the storage and archiving ourselves but CellNass already have a successful facility and system in place. If we were to do it the costs involved in both the licensing and freeing my staff to go there (and retrieve) simply wouldn’t add up – It’s a no-brainer!”

Ian and his team take advantage of the CellNass indexing system and a process whereby their metal slide/block trays are taken from the cabinets, uplifted from the site and put into cardboard boxes at the CellNass facility, with the metal trays then returned – eliminating the need for Addenbrooke’s to purchase new cabinets. Having established that Ian is happy with a system that is working well it felt like time to discover how Addenbrooke’s first heard about CellNass.

“Although I wasn’t in charge when we opted to use CellNass I’ve actually known Colin Brewer – who is very much of the histopathology sector – since about 1988. He approached me when developing the idea for CellNass and used me as an informal sounding board. They’re people I trust and despite CellNass being more than 10-years old there’s still nobody offering a comparable service.”

We are always happy to welcome customers to have a look at our facilities - if you'd like a tour, please use the form on the right and a member of our customer care team will be in touch to arrange an invitation to visit.

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