The Human Placenta Project

Standardization of tissue processing and storage in repositories, and collection and sharing of data

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A recurring theme throughout the pre-meeting reports is the need to establish standards for generation of repositories of well phenotyped placental tissue samples with collection and storage in a manner that allows comparable analysis utilizing contemporary techniques across different laboratories. Additionally the need for collection of biospecimens across the entirety of normal gestation with collection of appropriate corresponding standardized clinical data has been emphasized, together with the need for access to rare placental specimens.

In 2014 investigators who were part of the Global Pregnancy Collaboration (CoLab) published a position paper outlining standardized techniques for optimal collection and storage of placental tissue prior to analysis by different methods. Burton GJ, Sebire NJ, Myatt L, Tannetta D, Wang YL, Sadovsky Y, Staff AC, Redman CW Optimising sample collection for placental research. Placenta. 35(1):9-22, 2014. PMID:24290528

While this paper should and will be updated due to the development of new techniques requiring different collection and storage methods, the concept of using a consensus method such as outlined in the paper for collection and storage is still valid and should reduce variability in data generated.

CoLab, https://pregnancycolab.tghn.org/ also serves to bring investigators from around the world together for the purpose of collaboration. Many of these investigators have biospecimens available. CoLab is also assembling a registry of "rare" placental sample

The type and depth of clinical data collected varies widely between different laboratories and studies and most often does not allow thorough phenotyping of pregnancies and the tissue collected. Additionally the data is collected in many differing formats across laboratories and studies that do not allow integration of the usually small numbers of pregnancies in individual studies into much larger datasets. A solution to this is adoption of standardized databases or data dictionaries to be employed in every study. The Global Pregnancy Collaboration has made a cloud-based standardized pregnancy database, COLLECT, https://pregnancycolab.tghn.org/collect/ that is available for minimal charge to investigators in developed countries and at no charge in developing countries. It can be used for basic and clinical studies. The data is password protected and remains the property of individual investigators but can easily combined with data from others if desired to generate large datasets. It is available in minimal or optimal formats, that differ in the number of data fields but which retain the ability for easy combination.

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Idea No. 163