Banks, Repositories and Registries of Stem Cell Lines in Europe: Regulatory and Ethical Aspects
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- Hug, K. Stem Cell Rev and Rep (2009) 5: 18. doi:10.1007/s12015-009-9053-5
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To overview banks, repositories and registries of stem cell lines in Europe excluding bone marrow and cord blood banks; to concisely discuss the most important scientific, regulatory and ethical aspects of stem cell banking in a manner understandable to a layperson, but remain detailed enough not to compromise thoroughness of information. Review of scientific publications, laws and ethical guidelines in this field up through September 2008; hearing the opinions of key persons working in stem cell banking. The article discusses the procedure of stem cell banking and related safety issues and reviews the regulation of stem cell banking at the regional (European) and the national level. Stem cell banking can help meet scientific and certain ethical imperatives, but is complicated in the context of heterogeneous laws, guidelines, and ethical standards. In the pluralistic European society with cultural diversity leading to heterogeneous laws, harmonisation of international guidelines and national laws regulating stem cell banking is needed, as well as mapping of implementation at the national level.