A tissue bank is an establishment that collects and harvests human cadaver tissue for the purposes of medical research and education. A tissue bank may also refer to a location where biomedical tissue is stored under cryogenic conditions, and is generally used in a more clinical sense.
Willed Body Donation
Most U.S. tissue bank companies get their supply of cadaver tissue through Willed Body Donation programs run by the tissue bank itself. They then charge their customers (mainly medical instrument companies) for services associated with preparation of the cadaver tissue (i.e. - transportation, refrigeration, harvesting, etc.) rather than charging money for the donated tissue itself, which is illegal.
The American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) is the most recognized accrediting body for American tissue banks.
- Many universities across the U.S. also offer tissue to surgical training facilities meant for medical research and education on cadaveric specimens. Most universities obtain this tissue through their own whole body donation programs.