Regea Cell and Tissue Center

Regea Cell and Tissue Center is a clinical tissue bank and a GMP cell manufacturing unit. Regea is a non-profit organization operating under the University of Tampere.

Regea Cell and Tissue Center

Clinical Tissue Bank

Regea procures and distributes tissue transplants (bone, tendon, amniotic membrane and cornea) for clinical use. Regea also imports tissue transplants  from EU countries. Yearly circa 650 transplants are distributed to hospitals. One of the most important goals of Regea is to increase tissue donations and ensure the availability of tissues for transplantation in Finland.

Tissue Orders:

kudoskoordinaattori(at)regea.fi
tel. +358 50 4437 236

Stem Cell Products

Cell therapy medicinal products and tissue engineered products represent a new category of drugs which holds wide therapeutic potential for treating different types of diseases. Regea Cell and Tissue Center was among the first in the world to start the manufacture of tissue engineered products for clinical applications. Thus far close to 30 patients suffering from bone tissue defects have been treated by stem cells derived from the patient’s own adipose tissue. The treatments have been made in collaboration with Finnish hospitals.

Regea houses a GMP laboratory with adjacent QC laboratories for the manufacture of cell-based products.

Tissue Transplantations

Donated tissues are used for treating a wide range of serious illnesses and injuries.

  • Bone transplants are used to treat tissue deficiencies caused by wear, cancer and accidents. Bone is used e.g. in prosthetic surgeries.
  • Tendons are used to repair various tendon damages.
  • Corneal transplant can restore vision on an eye when the cause of the illness or injury is in the cornea.
  • Amniotic membrane is a placental membrane, which is procured during planned cesarean sections. It is used e.g. to treat eye injuries. It can been used as a graft or as a biological dressing to facilitate ocular surface reconstruction and to promote healing.
  • Heart valves are functional tissues that can be used to repair different valve defects. The heart valves are mainly procured from hearts that are not suitable for organ transplantation.
  • Vascular transplants can be used to repair damaged blood vessels.
  • Skin grafts can be used to replace skin, when it is damaged as the result of a disease or an accident, such as a burn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Open the panels below to view the answers.

What is the difference between organ donation and tissue donation?

Heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and pancrea are organs. An organ donor is a braindead individual, whose life functions are maintained mechanically. The tissue types of the organ donor and the organ recipient must match as closely as possible.

Cornea, sclera, heart valves, bone, tendons, cartilage and skin are tissues. Tissue donor may be a living or a deceased person. Organ donors can also be tissue donors, if they fulfil the specific criteria for tissue donation.

The tissues listed above can be procured from a deceased person. A living donor can donate bone tissue when in a hip procedure, where a prosthesis is replacing the donated femoral head. An amniotic membrane, which is the innermost membrane of the amniotic sac, can be donated during a planned cesarean section. Tissue transplants do not normally cause rejection.

How can I become a donor?

The best way to communicate your desire to be an organ/tissue donor is to sign the organ/tissue donor card. The card is also available as an app that can be downloaded to your cell phone. In addition to these, you can document your decision in OmaKanta. It is important to also express the desire of becoming a tissue and organ donor to your next of kin.

Is there a compensation for tissue donation?

No, the law states that there shall be no compensation for tissue donations.

The law states that tissue banks shall be non-profit institutions that are allowed to charge only for their own expenses in handling and distributing the tissues. Procurement, storing, processing and testing of tissue transplants cause expenses. Similarly, the testing of donors to ensure the safety of transplants causes expenses. These costs are covered with the payments received from hospitals that use the transplants.

What does a non-profit institution do with the revenue received from supplying the tissues?

Procurement, storing, processing and testing of tissues cost money. Similarly, the testing of donors to ensure the safety of the tissues causes expenses. All these expenses are covered with the revenue received from supplying the tissues.

How are tissue donors tested?

The same principles apply for tissue donation as for blood donation. All tissue donors are tested by lab tests (HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C) to ensure the safety of the tissue donations.

May I be a tissue donor, if I have a medical condition?

All tissue donors are evaluated according to the medical criteria defined by legislation. Certain medical conditions are exclusion criteria for tissue donation, but you do not need to be aware of these yourself.

May the recipient know who the donor was?

No. The donors and transplants are given a unique code with donation. Everyone involved in tissue banking is bound by confidentiality.

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