Partner 11: European Homograft Bank (EHB)

Tissue Bank, WP Leader for WP 2 Procurement 

The European Homograft Bank is an international non-profit association located in the Military Hospital Queen Astrid in Brussels. It has been created by a cardio-vascular surgical network from Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, United Kingdom and Switzerland for the preparation, storage and distribution of quality controlled heart valve and arterial allografts with international participation for donation and implantation. It collaborates with a huge network of more than 80 hospitals in the European Union and elsewhere. 

Donor hearts and/or the arterial segment are procured by the transplant coordination and transplant surgeons and sent to EHB for processing of the allografts and their storage until implantation. The aortic, pulmonary and mitral valve as well as the different arterial allografts (ascending and descending aorta, aortic bifurcation, iliac and femoral arteries as well as the non-valvular pulmonary branches) are morphologically evaluated, cryopreserved and stored in the vapors of liquid nitrogen. EHB manages the allocation of those tissues in collaboration with the implanting surgeons from different university and non-university hospitals. Over the last 22 years, different studies have been performed in the field of allograft decontamination, cryopreservation and allograft processing techniques.

As one of two participating tissue banks, EHB’s main task within ESPOIR will be the evaluation of the donor selection and the allograft procurement from the heart beating donors (brain death donors as well as the recipients of heart transplantation, “domino-donors”) and the post mortem donors. The EHB is one of the most successful tissue banks in Europe with a turnover of about 300 aortic and pulmonary homografts per year which assures an adequate supply of homografts for the preparation of DHV. With over a decade’s experience at the EHB in tissue donation and the related safety and quality issues, Dr. Jashari is perfectly placed to act as WP leader for WP2 Procurement. 

Contributors to ESPOIR 

Dr. Ramadan Jashari, Medical Director
Dr. Ye-dong Fan, Medical Assistant
Béatrice Van Hoeck, Quality Assurance
Richard Ngakam, Laboratory Technician