Sample integrity is essential to the success of every biobanking project. So is the ability to easily share information designed to accelerate lifesaving discoveries. Various types of unwanted pre-analytical variables can be introduced at numerous points in the life of a sample, beginning at the time it is collected from the donor, through shipping, receiving/inventory, laboratory processing, during storage and subsequent retrieval for analysis.
On the Thermo Scientific's biobanking community we recently introduced a virtual biobank which allows users to explore critical points in the biobank workflow from collection through distribution. This tool offers a hands-on way to gain a better understanding of each aspect of the workflow, and ultimately conveys the importance of a valued partner that can preserve your samples, track your inventory, streamline your productivity, and help you meet laboratory challenges.
This blog discusses some fun facts about biobanking as well as additional information about each step in the workflow. Let's explore the virtual biobank!
Collection: On average, 13% of samples are contaminated during collection
The success of a biobank project starts at the point of collection to ensure the quality of samples and establish a robust sample information foundation. Whether you are utilizing collection kits or automating your collection, by simplifying and improving the quality of this critical stage in the biobank process, we can ensure successful downstream research of biological specimens.
Preparation: Biobanks stored almost 1.3 billion specimens in 2013
The critical preparation stage ensures that sample components are ready for storage in an optimal format. Preparing biological samples lays the groundwork for a range of objectives such as drug discovery, disease research, cell therapy, and more. This could include a range of solutions from extraction, fractionation, and aliquoting, which all must maintain traceability from the point of collection. Optimal sample temperature also plays a role in the preparation stage.
Storage: By 2024, there will be an estimated 2.18 billion samples stored in biobanks for research purposes alone
Safe and secure storage is a non-negotiable part of the biobank workflow. In some cases researchers may retrieve samples from the biorepository only to find that the materials stored are no longer viable for testing. This may occur because the sample wasn't stored properly or because it spent too much time in storage before testing. In order to prevent a loss of integrity among samples, all parties involved in the collection and storage of biospecimens must follow certain practices. It is dually important to maintain sample integrity and also manage inventory by utilizing a comprehensive, sample storage solution designed to protect samples, track inventory, and provide peace of mind.
Analysis: 25% of stem cell transplants now utilize banked cord blood
The real value of biospecimens is the data they generate through techniques like genomic and proteomic analysis. In biobanking, the timely and accurate flow of information is essential and comprehensive informatics solutions for biobanks and biorepositories can foster the collaboration and sharing that are essential to advance research.
Transport: Between 2018 and 2024, biobanking for research will expand at a rate greater than 7% per year
Maintaining sample integrity at every point of transfer from collection to shipping/distribution is imperative. Extensive transportation solutions can help you ensure proper temperature when locating/transporting your biobank assets that require controlled ambient, refrigerated, ultra-low or cryogenic temperatures.
When it comes to biobanking, it's important to have a strong understanding of the critical stages in the workflow: collection, preparation, storage, analysis, and transport. By exploring the virtual biobank, you are able to gain some insight into the types of products and services that can help support your biobanking needs. To gain an insider's view into our processes, as well as our expertise in shipping of samples, download InsideAccess: Making the Most of Near Misses.