FAQ

Who is NDRI?

The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded organization that provides project-driven human biospecimen service to academic and corporate scientists. Founded in 1980, NDRI has more than 40 years of experience in global distribution of human biospecimens for biomedical research.

Is NDRI a tissue bank?

NDRI is not a tissue bank. We predominately provide project-specific biospecimens by screening prospective donors. Over time, we have accumulated and banked select frozen and fixed biospecimens, but this is not our primary mission. To check the availability of samples in our inventory, email our Scientific Services Department at researcherinquiry@ndriresource.org.

What types of specimens can NDRI provide?

NDRI provides diseased and non-diseased human biospecimens with annotated data. Our extensive recovery network has the expertise and resources necessary to provide nearly every anatomical structure, organ and tissue type via multiple preservation methods. Visit our Services and Capabilities page to learn more.

What is NDRI’s recovery network?

NDRI works with US-based organ procurement organizations (OPOs), tissue banks, eye banks, hospitals, and independent recovery personnel to recover project-driven biospecimens. In all cases, the donors (or their next-of-kin) have provided informed consent to procure de-identified biospecimens for biomedical research.

Our recovery network includes the following types of sites:

  • Tissue and eye banks provide a diverse range of anatomical structures, organs and tissues from post-mortem donors. They typically recover biospecimens within 14 to 24 hours post-mortem.
  • Hospital surgical centers provide clinical discards from living donors. They typically preserve biospecimens within 4 to 6 hours post procedure.
  • Organ procurement organizations (OPOs) provide whole organs from post-mortem donors that will not be used for transplant purposes either due to tissue type or donor criteria. They typically recover specimens within 4 to 6 hours post-mortem.
What is NDRI’s tissue de-identification policy?
NDRI requires all tissue source sites in the NDRI network to: obtain informed consent in writing from any tissue donor (or the next-of-kin) for the use of that tissue for research, keep a signed consent/authorization on file at the tissue acquisition site, include language in the consent/authorization form that indicates that the tissue is an anatomical gift for which no compensation is given, and redact all incoming documents related to donors to ensure that researchers receiving tissues cannot identify or contact the donor or donor’s family.
Do you charge a fee for samples?
Yes. Although individuals or next-of-kin freely donate all tissues for research use, a sophisticated network is necessary to match samples with researchers and to procure, process and ship samples. Fees are necessary to support this infrastructure.
Can I control the number of biospecimens I receive?
Yes. The majority of procurements occur automatically based on the donor and recovery parameters provided during the application process. Since we procure tissues on a project-driven basis, we can never guarantee when a potential donor will become available. This means that NDRI projects include an upper limit on the number of samples your team wants to receive as well as frequency limitations on how often you are able to accept recoveries. You can adjust these parameters at any time, but we require 48 hours to apply the requested changes.
What types of infectious disease testing do you provide?
NDRI’s infectious disease panel includes:

  • HIV-1/2 antibody
  • Hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • Hepatitis B virus core total antibody (anti-HBc)
  • Hepatitis C virus antibody

NDRI may report other serology data, but donors cannot be ruled “unacceptable” based on reactivity in any test other than those included in the above list. We offer testing for biospecimens recovered from organ, tissue and ocular donors. This testing is not available for biospecimens recovered from surgical procedures in living donors.

Do I need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for my project?
The samples NDRI provides are de-identified. An approved IRB protocol is typically not necessary, but we still ask for an indication that you are approved to use human biospecimens. Academic researchers can contact their IRB about the proposed project and send us a copy of the IRB exemption letter or human subjects determination from your institution. Corporate researchers may utilize an external IRB or provide a letter from a company official (other than the Principal Investigator) stating that the use of human tissue in your research is authorized and universal precautions will be strictly followed.

To learn more, contact Scientific Services:
Email us at research@ndriresource.org or call (800) 222-NDRI (6374), ext. 0391

Who is NDRI?

The National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded organization that provides project-driven human biospecimen service to academic and corporate scientists. Founded in 1980, NDRI has more than 40 years of experience in global distribution of human biospecimens for biomedical research.

Is NDRI a tissue bank?

NDRI is not a tissue bank. We predominately provide project-specific biospecimens by screening prospective donors. Over time, we have accumulated and banked select frozen and fixed biospecimens, but this is not our primary mission. To check the availability of samples in our inventory, email our Scientific Services Department at researcherinquiry@ndriresource.org.

What types of specimens can NDRI provide?

NDRI provides diseased and non-diseased human biospecimens with annotated data. Our extensive recovery network has the expertise and resources necessary to provide nearly every anatomical structure, organ and tissue type via multiple preservation methods. Visit our Services and Capabilities page to learn more.

What is NDRI’s recovery network?

NDRI works with US-based organ procurement organizations (OPOs), tissue banks, eye banks, hospitals, and independent recovery personnel to recover project-driven biospecimens. In all cases, the donors (or their next-of-kin) have provided informed consent to procure de-identified biospecimens for biomedical research.

Our recovery network includes the following types of sites:

  • Tissue and eye banks provide a diverse range of anatomical structures, organs and tissues from post-mortem donors. They typically recover biospecimens within 14 to 24 hours post-mortem.
  • Hospital surgical centers provide clinical discards from living donors. They typically preserve biospecimens within 4 to 6 hours post procedure.
  • Organ procurement organizations (OPOs) provide whole organs from post-mortem donors that will not be used for transplant purposes either due to tissue type or donor criteria. They typically recover specimens within 4 to 6 hours post-mortem.
What is NDRI’s tissue de-identification policy?
NDRI requires all tissue source sites in the NDRI network to: obtain informed consent in writing from any tissue donor (or the next-of-kin) for the use of that tissue for research, keep a signed consent/authorization on file at the tissue acquisition site, include language in the consent/authorization form that indicates that the tissue is an anatomical gift for which no compensation is given, and redact all incoming documents related to donors to ensure that researchers receiving tissues cannot identify or contact the donor or donor’s family.
Do you charge a fee for samples?
Yes. Although individuals or next-of-kin freely donate all tissues for research use, a sophisticated network is necessary to match samples with researchers and to procure, process and ship samples. Fees are necessary to support this infrastructure.
Can I control the number of biospecimens I receive?
Yes. The majority of procurements occur automatically based on the donor and recovery parameters provided during the application process. Since we procure tissues on a project-driven basis, we can never guarantee when a potential donor will become available. This means that NDRI projects include an upper limit on the number of samples your team wants to receive as well as frequency limitations on how often you are able to accept recoveries. You can adjust these parameters at any time, but we require 48 hours to apply the requested changes.
What types of infectious disease testing do you provide?
NDRI’s infectious disease panel includes:

  • HIV-1/2 antibody
  • Hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • Hepatitis B virus core total antibody (anti-HBc)
  • Hepatitis C virus antibody

NDRI may report other serology data, but donors cannot be ruled “unacceptable” based on reactivity in any test other than those included in the above list. We offer testing for biospecimens recovered from organ, tissue and ocular donors. This testing is not available for biospecimens recovered from surgical procedures in living donors.

Do I need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for my project?

The samples NDRI provides are de-identified. An approved IRB protocol is typically not necessary, but we still ask for an indication that you are approved to use human biospecimens. Academic researchers can contact their IRB about the proposed project and send us a copy of the IRB exemption letter or human subjects determination from your institution. Corporate researchers may utilize an external IRB or provide a letter from a company official (other than the Principal Investigator) stating that the use of human tissue in your research is authorized and universal precautions will be strictly followed.

To learn more, contact Scientific Services:
Email us at research@ndriresource.org or call (800) 222-NDRI (6374), ext. 391