First National Heart Failure Biobank in India inaugurated at SCTIMST

New Delhi, Aug 6: The first National Heart Failure Biobank in India that would collect blood, biopsy samples, and clinical data and guide future therapies to benefit patients of heart failure significantly was inaugurated at the SreeChitraTirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, the Department of Science and Technology said on Friday.

The facility will be useful for the research and treatment of post-Covid heart failure, it said.

Principal investigator of the project and professor of cardiology at SCTIMST, Dr. Harikrishnan S, said the storage facilities include minus 20 to minus 80-degrees mechanical freezers and a liquid nitrogen storage system which can store bio-samples at minus 140 degrees perpetually for years.

Currently, there are facilities to store nearly 25,000 bio-samples.

The bio-samples include the blood, serum, tissue samples obtained during open-heart surgery and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and genomic DNA collected from heart failure patients. The biobank activity is supervised by a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) with a member from ICMR, it said.

The samples are collected after informed consent from patients who are willing to donate specimens.

The samples stored and catalogued will be linked to clinical data such as physiological measures, imaging data like ECG, Echocardiography MRI, and follow-up data. Researchers and clinicians interested in research related to heart failure can collaborate with SCTIMST once the proposal is approved by the TAC and Ethics Committee of SCTIMST.

The Biobank at SCTIMST has already signed an MOU with InStem Bangalore for collaborative research in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which runs in families with thickening heart muscles, it said.

With heart failure emerging as a major health problem in India, ICMR had initiated the National Centre for Advanced Research and Excellence in Heart Failure (CARE-HF) at SCTIMST for scaling up research in the field, it said.

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