Find a Laboratory Heart Center Tissue Bank

The Heart Center Tissue Bank (HCTB) at Texas Children's Hospital is the largest pediatric tissue bank in the Texas Medical Center and houses a variety of tissue samples of patients with congenital heart defects. Our mission is to advance the research of congenital heart defects by fostering research collaborations with investigators not only within Texas Children’s Hospital, but globally.

Heart Center Tissue Bank (HCTB) prospectively collects and banks surgical samples obtained from patients undergoing surgical treatment for congenital or acquired heart defects as an infrastructure for the advancement of basic and translational research in pediatrics.

Our Samples

We collect every sample under IRB approved protocols, ensuring that strict ethical guidelines are followed to protect patient confidentiality and safety. Each sample has the patient's consent for use in a wide range of research including the development of commercial products or services. The samples are identifiable only by unique identifiers to ensure an unbiased assessment as well as patient confidentiality.

We strictly control the time from surgical extraction to snap freezing. This ensures that our tissue specimens are viable and highest quality for the most demanding genomic and proteomic research criteria.

These samples fuel research dedicated to improving our understanding of congenital heart disease in children, which allows us to provide the best care and treatment of children with heart development disorders. Our ultimate goal is to serve as a platform for sharing these valuable research samples across research communities and for potential tissue donors to receive regular updates on functions and activities of the tissue bank.

Since its inception in 2010, the HCTB has collected nearly 4000+ specimens including peripheral blood, urine and cardiac tissues obtained from daily cardiac surgeries. These samples are processed and snap frozen at our institutional tissue processing facility that houses nearly 25,000 processed aliquots of these samples stored in -800C freezers.

The collected samples are managed and tracked in a secure LIMS database system. To maximize their value, all specimens collected over a longitudinal course of treatment are fully annotated and linked with the relevant clinical data.

Current Research

The main objective of the HCTB is to serve as a resource for investigators involved in a wide variety of research including the target discovery and validation, bioengineering, genomic studies, biomarker discovery for prevention or early detection of cardiac diseases. Currently there are 1900 participants enrolled in the tissue bank. HCTB currently supports several projects both from within or outside the institution.

External Research Collaborations

HCTB is now a member of national research consortiums such as CHSS registry of biobanks, and Registry of Rare diseases (RDR) at the NIH. These affiliations help to foster global collaborations and sharing of data and specimens across the globe with a goal of facilitating multi-institutional research.   

Selected key projects:

1. Identification of post-zygotic cardiac somatic mutations involved in the etiology of congenital heart disease

2. Elucidation of molecular pathways in left ventricular assist device (LVAD)-supported pediatric population

3. Microstructural and cellular analyses of normal and congenitally diseased heart valves

4. Stem cell cardiogenesis and tissue engineering applications

5. Multicenter studies on the genetic basis of cardiovascular malformations