Biorepository and Tissue Analytics (BTA)

The BTA Shared Resource at the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center is a valuable resource for all aspects of experimental pathology for  MCW Cancer Center members conducting basic, translational, clinical and population science research on human cancer. The BTA supports multiple aspects of cancer research by utilizing universal consenting for all MCW Cancer Center patients making tissues easily available for subsequent analysis, by offering its members competitive pricing on services including centralized banking and distribution of cancer tissues and blood, and by providing advanced tissue analytics services, including sophisticated tissue-arraying services and comprehensive molecular histocytometric analyses of cancer.

Pathology Research BioCore (PRB)

Services and Equipment

The BTA consists of two integrated units:

Tissue Bank/Biorepository: The MCW Cancer Center Tissue Bank is a CAP-accredited biorepository which ensures high quality samples; vetted protocols and procedures; and knowledgeable, well-trained staff. The Bank offers three robust consent programs to patients of Froedtert Hospitals and clinics: the General Tissue Bank, the Maternal Bank, and the COVID-19 Bank. In addition to providing banked tissue to researchers, the Bank also provides services associated with human samples, including storage and processing.

Tissue Bank services include:

  • Biofluids samples and processing
  • Tissue procurement
  • Tumor biomarker analytic support
  • Storage, supplies, and other services

Tissue Analytics: The Tissue Analytics Laboratory provides state-of-the-art tumor histocytometry, which is quantitative single cell analysis of cancer cells and stromal fibroblasts, immune cells, and vascular endothelial cells within the spatially resolved tumor tissue architecture. This laboratory also provides advanced tissue arraying services.

BTA Equipment includes:

  • An array of -80 freezers with 24/7 temperature monitoring for biostorage
  • Liquid nitrogen freezers and -150 freezer for cryopreservation of viable cells and tissues
  • Purigen Ionic Isoachyphoresis nucleic acid extractor for FFPE specimens
  • Two automated immunohistochemistry stainers (Dako Omnis and Leica Bond Rx)
  • Akoya Vectra Polaris multicolor fluorescence and bright field scanner
  • Perkin-Elmer/3DHistech Panoramic 250 Flash fluorescence and brightfield scanner
  • Perkin-Elmer/3DHistech TMA Grandmaster high throughput automated tissue arrayer
  • Fluorescence microscope
  • Several dedicated servers for data analysis
  • Quantitative image analysis software (Definiens Tissue Studio; Akoya Phenoptics and Phenochart; qPath)
  • Central storage capacity for image data files 

The BTA strives to provide the following services to MCW Cancer Center members:

Procure and distribute biospecimens from consented patients and de-identified annotated data to investigators through a streamlined, simple and compliant process. This includes viable tissue for patient-derived xenograft (PDX) modeling in vivo and 3D organoid cultures or cell line generation in vitro and fresh frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues for molecular studies. In addition, the specimen database securely and effectively links clinical annotations with specimens.

Provide access to specialized analytical technologies, services and expertise in order to enhance scientific interaction and productivity. This includes nucleic acid extraction and QC analysis, quantitative immunohistochemistry and histocytometric image analyses and related technical consultation.

Promote, design, perform, manage and interpret cancer-related research projects utilizing human cancer specimens at MCW that ensures stability, cost-effectiveness and quality control. This includes advanced tissue array generation services and tissue extraction services (nucleic acids and protein). Sample normalization and preparation for genotyping and expression studies are also provided.

Location and Hours of Operation

The BTA Tissue Bank is located in the Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratory building and the Tissue Analytics laboratory is located in TBRC-4. Both are open M-F from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

request services through the mcw tissue bank/bta iLab

Contact Us

Mary Rau

Tissue Bank Manager
(414) 805-9569