Purpose:  The ITEDS Tissue Bank was established in 2012 as a repository for orbital and eyelid tissues removed at the time of surgery that would ordinarily be discarded. Banked tissues include orbital and eyelid fat, skin, muscle, fascia, lacrimal gland, and blood. The Biobank will allow institutions or research groups to store specific tissues or sera for defined projects but also will maintain a broad sample bank for various stages of TED along with clinical datasheets for future potential research projects.

Facility: Kryosphere is a fully accredited private biobank based in North Carolina that ensures confidentiality of donor information and secure preservation of the stored tissues.  They provide shipping containers for donor surgeons/institutions,  maintain a secure database allowing identification of banked materials based on various search parameters, and facilitate withdrawal of materials.

Donors to the Bank: Surgeons in the United States are eligible to submit their tissues to this Bank upon completion of a local IRB, which is coordinated with the primary IRB which is now housed at Massachusetts Eye and Ear under PI Suzanne Freitag, MD. Informed consent is required of patients in order to donate their tissues. Tissues are sent frozen on dry ice along with de-identified data which is logged into the Bank’s electronic database.  Donation and storage of orbital tissue and sera is completely free of charge and such institutions are guaranteed that a portion of all donated specimens will be specifically reserved for their own withdrawal should they choose(at a preferred reduced charge).

We are actively seeking surgeons in the US to contribute to the Bank, as well as researchers in the US who may wish to utilize these banked tissues. (It is very difficult to transport these specimens into or out of the US, hence the geographic limitations.) If you are performing surgery on patients with TED, please strongly consider becoming involved in this project. The Bank has had limited submissions over the past 1.5 years due to COVID-19, but we are now enthusiastic to resume Bank recruiting and activity.

For more information please contact Suzanne Freitag, MD (Suzanne_Freitag@meei.harvard.edu)

Costs of the Bank: Establishment of this bank has been possible through generous grants from the ASOPRS Foundation.   While ITEDS will cover the expenses of recruitment and storage of tissue and sera, the ongoing costs of the bank will be recouped through withdrawal charges:  these are anticipated to be less than the costs for institutions and research groups to store the materials themselves.