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Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
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Research overview

Research facilities

Trust’s full research capabilities are outlined in the NIHR R&D operational capability statement which describes the clinical and research facilities available at both hospitals.


In addition, the Trust hosts state-of-the-art dedicated research facilities for its heart and lung disease research programmes. These facilities are available to Trust researchers and their academic and industrial collaborators and are managed by our NIHR Biomedical Research Units.

Clinical research facility


The CRF has the following facilities for respiratory research and is supported by experienced nursing staff:


  • reception and lounge for research participants

  • seven adult consulting rooms

  • one paediatric consulting room

  • four inhalation adult and one paediatric cubicle(s) for allergen challenge and delivery of GM materials

  • four adult inpatient beds with overnight staffing

  • patient kitchen and amenities

  • children’s play room and adolescent waiting area.

  • 24-hour cover Monday to Friday with potential for weekend cover.


The Sample processing laboratories is adjacent to the CRF


Interventional cardiology laboratory


Our dedicated research centre for interventional cardiology studies has been designed to enable multimodality image integration during endovascular intervention


The laboratory incorporates intracoronary imaging by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), physiology assessment (coronary pressure / flow wires, conductance catheters, transoesophageal and intracardiac echocardiography).


It also incude electrophysiology capability, including electromechanical mapping by NOGA.


It is also fully integrated with a 3T Siemens Skyra magnet for cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR).




State-of-the-art, high-throughput genetics sequencing




Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR)


1.5T and 3T MRI machines are available for research use. The Trust has a Siemens Skyra 3T scanner solely for research, which is co-located in the interventional cardiology laboratory. A team of physicists, radiographers and nurses support our research CMR activities.




The research echocardiography facility is co-located in our interventional cardiology research centre.


Computer tomography (CT) imaging


This facility includes all the key diagnostic modalities for lung imaging, including two multi-detector CT scanners (one of which is a dual energy scanner). The scanners are run by senior radiographers with experience in undertaking complex research protocols and supervising image transfer. Imaging investigations available include:


  • digital chest radiography

  • high resolution computed tomography

  • contrast-enhanced computed tomography

    • CT pulmonary angiography
    • dual energy computed tomography

    • lung cancer staging CT

  • V/Q scanning (nuclear medicine)

  • ultrasonography for pleural disease.




The Trust’s Biobank allows access to retrospectively acquired  biological specimens, and the infrastructure and support for prospective specimen collection  from Trust patients.




The laboratory is staffed by HCPC-registered biomedical scientists specialising in lung histopathology . Technical expertise and resources available include:

  • cryo-sectioning of fresh-frozen tissue (cryotomy)
  • cutting of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue
  • H&E staining
  • immunohistochemistry using high-performance automated platform (Ventana Benchmark Ultra), including optimisation of novel antibodies, single and double staining
  • creation of tissue microarrays (TMAs)
  • gross specimen dissection, sampling and photography
  • in situ hybridisation
  • snap freezing
  • tinctural stains
  • light microscopy
  • pathologist consultation and interpretation services
  • project-based access to large numbers of tissue samples from Biobank, covering multiple specialist respiratory disease cohorts

Respiratory physiology


This dedicated research unit is staffed by two dedicated senior respiratory physiologists. Tests offered include:

  • spirometry

  • post BD spirometry

  • body plethysmography

  • gas transfer

  • blood gases

  • CPET

  • pulmonary blood flow

  • cold air challenge / EVH / vascular hyperreactivity

  • opto-electronic plethysmography

  • lung clearance index.


Sample processing laboratory


Samples can be processed to a point at which they can be frozen or shipped to a central service. Our sample processing facilities include:


  • a small tissue culture incubator

  • a cell bank.


Blood, urine, sputum , bronchoalveolar lavage, nasal brushings, bronchial brushings, stool and bronchial biopsy samples can be processed. 

Royal Brompton

Sydney Street,
London SW3 6NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 8121