Healthcare research can be categorized into three main types: research on humans, research on human biological materials and lastly research on personal data. Human biologicals are defined as plasma, IgG protein, serum, whole blood, organs, part of organs, cells, tissues and even components of such material from living and/or dead persons. This means that any physical material from the human body may it be a fluid, protein or even whole blood are considered human biological materials in a sense. Human Materials such as plasma, human fluids, and whole blood are some of collection of human material that can be used in research.

The use of human biological material has raised ethical questions of recent. Some might think that since some of these materials are no longer part of a body like deficient plasma, thus do not present any problem. That is not usually the case. Ethical issues arise because these are human materials implying a connection with someone. Some might claim ownership of “their” material and thus have the right to decide for them. Others have interests in safeguarding human materials. These principal issues relate to the possibility of identifying the individuals.

With the help of modern biotechnological methods, it is possible to trace back to the individuals provided that the individualizing characteristics are not removed from the human material. This, however, can create problems for the individuals. For example, if blood tests conducted show a genetic disposition to a particular disease and such information is not handled properly by rules on confidentiality thus violating privacy of the individual donor.

A research biobank is a collection of the human biologicals that are used in a research project or that will be used by researchers in future research projects. They are provided for medical tests, diagnostics, and treatment. The collection, storage, and processing of these human materials in the biobank should be carried in an ethically responsible manner. Privacy is given priority with regards to principles of human dignity and human right.

The use of human biologicals is crucial for health-related purposes such as diagnostics, treatment, and even teaching purpose. Therefore, it is important the use of these materials should be done in a responsible, ethical manner. The use of these human biological should be in accordance to rules and laws such as the Health Research Act and the Treatment BioBank Act. The use of human biologicals in medical and healthcare research should respect human rights and human dignity and should never discriminate the person from whom the biological materials originate.

Learn more about Innovative Research and our high quality research materials including human, plant, and animal biological, ELISA & Assay Kits, proteins, antibodies, cell cultures, blood, serum, plasma, and more.  More information can be found at or by calling 248.896.0145.

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