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Biobanks provide an important repository of samples for research purposes. However, for those samples
to reflect the in vivo state, and for experimental reliability and reproducibility, careful attention to
collection, processing and storage is essential. This is particularly true for the placenta, which is
potentially subjected to stressful conditions during delivery, and sample collection may be delayed owing
to routine postpartum inspection by clinical staff. In addition, standardisation of the collection procedure
enables samples to be shared among research groups, allowing larger datasets to be established. Here,
we provide an evidence-based and experts’ review of the factors surrounding collection that may influence
data obtained from the human placenta. We outline particular requirements for specific techniques,
and propose a protocol for optimal sample collection. We recognise that the relevance of these
factors, and of the sample types collected to a particular study will depend on the research questions
being addressed. We therefore anticipate that researchers will select from the protocol to meet their
needs and resources available. Wherever possible, we encourage researchers to extend their collection to
include additional samples that can be shared on an international collaborative basis, with appropriate
informed consent, to raise the quality, as well as quantity, of placental research.

G.J. Burton a,*,1, N.J. Sebire b, L. Myatt c, D. Tannetta d, Y.-L. Wang e, Y. Sadovsky f, A.C. Staff g,
C.W. Redman d