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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cardiothoracic Services

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Oxford Cell and Tissue Biobank

The Oxford Cell and Tissue Biobank, also known as the Homograft Department, is a small clinical unit based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

The department provides mechanical, biological (containing animal tissue) and human heart valves for all patients who require cardiothoracic surgery at the Oxford University Hospitals.

Patients who need transplant surgery include those born with heart defects, who need heart repair or reconstruction, and those with deformed, diseased or infected heart valves.

A wide variety of mechanical and biological valves are manufactured for use in cardiothoracic surgery. The Homograft Department ensures that our surgeons have a wide range of valves available, so that every patient is offered the most appropriate one for their surgery.

Donor hearts are carefully retrieved and prepared in the department's ultra-clean laboratory suite. Human heart valve tissue is thoroughly tested for quality and safety before it can be used in a transplant.

We are currently one of only five licensed heart valve banks in the UK, and can ensure that all patients who need transplant surgery in the area have human heart valves as soon as they need them. When possible, we also help to provide human tissue for patients in other hospitals across the UK.

As one of the leading valve surgery units in the UK, we are also regularly asked to advise on the development of new heart valves and take part in clinical trials.

Our staff

The department is run by a team of only eight staff. All our technical staff have extensive training before they prepare donated tissue for transplant and have regular testing to maintain high standards. All our staff are able to respond to questions from our donors' families and from patients undergoing surgery. Information about recipients is given back to donors' families if appropriate.

All procedures are performed according to documented operating procedures to ensure consistency and quality. Training and all standard operating procedures comply with UK and European quality and safety requirements.

Find us and contact us

  • Level 0
    John Radcliffe Hospital
    Oxford OX3 9DU
    Tel: 01865 220076
  • Clinical Lead: Jill Davies

From the main hospital entrance: follow the corridor down just past the League of Friends, take the lift or stairs down to level 1, turn left and enter the first corridor on the right (with glass bricks along the side). Go down the stairs to level 0 and enter via the corridor immediately on the left.

For maps of the hospital, information about transport and parking and contact details, please use the link below.