Project aim

The aim of the Dutch Fetal Biobank is to gain insight in human development through the study of human embryos and fetuses. Because of the scarcity of human embryonic and fetal material most textbooks describe the development of the human on extensive research in animal model systems. Though in general, the development of mammals is similar, the details differ.

The Dutch Fetal Biobank donation program was started in 2017 after acquiring all legal and ethical permits. From this moment onwards parents could be provided with the option to donate their embryo or fetuses to science after termination of pregnancy, preterm labour or miscarriage.

After an initial start in the Amsterdam UMC location AMC (University of Amsterdam), we expanded our range of collection to the surrounding hospitals and even aim to make this effort nation-wide. All donations are completely anonymous and do not allow any tracing back of the donated specimen.

The constant supply of complete, fresh fetal specimens – in various stages of development – enables us and researchers affiliated to this initiative to study human development in an unprecedented way. Studies range from the anatomical and morphological level to the cellular and molecular level.