What is biobanking?
What is biobanking?
The short answer is "Yes." A biobank is a repository of appropriately preserved biological samples forthe purpose of future scientific research.
However, in the scientific research realm, biobanking far exceeds this simplified explanation.
Time magazine featured Biobanking in its 2009 list of "10 Ideas".
Changing the World Right Now". They shined a spotlight on biobanks' potential to elevate the
Potential of the information scientists could get from biological samples, and what this might mean
It is important to know what this means for future research.
Biobanks have played a vital role in scientific advancement during this time of rapid technological progress.
Emerging methodologies and scientific breakthroughs. What we now know is that
biobanking is not simply a storage method for biological samples, but a crucial tool in the
preservation of biological data through appropriate logistical management and legislation.
Biobanks are long-term, large scale storage libraries that store biological information.
Accessible to answer scientific questions by command
How to succeed in biobanking
The Mayo Clinic, located in the state of Minnesota, was an early adopter of the biobank concept
Currently manages one of America's largest biobanks for patient sample.
Their researchers published an informative review recently that defined the requirements.
Biobanking is a successful operation. These considerations are discussed in this article
Eleanor Roosevelt insightfully said: "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." Before starting a new
A plan is essential for biobank collection
The plan must be clearly defined and include specific goals and objectives.
It is possible to achieve these goals with samples stored. You will need to follow the protocol for sample storage.
Collect and process. Storage requirements regarding storage size and conditions.
Identified and monitored for the specific biobank.
2. Establishment of standard operating procedures
Standard Operating Procedures are fundamental to high-quality scientific outputs.
To ensure consistent, repeatable and reliable results in science, there are procedures (SOPs).
Research is required.
The biobank should have a limit on sample variability.
and researchers responsible for sample collection and processing. Once the samples reach The
biobank, which offers a variety of methods to monitor environmental conditions.
during the preservation phase to limit variability.
These procedures include but are not limited to the handling of the specimens and include
processing and receiving methods. Furthermore, the implementation of an appropriate
All records management systems, equipment monitoring, facility security and monitoring will be provided by rest
These procedures can be established by the biobank.
3. Biobank staff training
Staff must have the ability to identify and report on any potential problems with samples that are being used for biobanking.
An in-depth understanding of internal procedures is necessary.
Competent to fulfill their duties.
Biobanks where specimens are kept are especially important to ensure that staff are competent and trained.
all samples were taken from different locations. The Mayo clinic review was further reviewed by the authors.
We recommend that you identify a "supertrainer", a member the permanent staff complement.
Responsible for the training of new employees. To ensure standardised delivery of training
Because staff turnover is almost inevitable, it is important to maintain consistency for a long time.
4. Laboratory Information Management Systems
Once samples have been stored, maintaining integrity in the biobank cannot be completed.
Further, sample integrity is dependent on the day-today activities of the biobank. These activities are heavily dependent on a reliable Laboratory Information Management System, (LIMS), for sample tracking and traceability.
A LIMS, or laboratory information management system, is software that manages and tracks laboratory samples and all associated data. It is important to document all details about each sample's type, source, collection, collection method, transportation, processing and preservation (if any).
LIMS can be integrated to specific instrumentation and workflows depending on the needs of the biobank. This will further reduce the possibility of human error which could compromise the integrity the biorepository's samples.
5. After-collection processing
In order to ensure long-term storage, depending on the nature of biological samples, processing after collection may be required.
Pre-collection processing should always be clearly documented in pre-established SOPs. It should also be included in the LIMS to maintain the integrity of each sample.
6. Disaster preparedness
Samples stored in a biobank are often scientifically valuable and irreplaceable.
Biobanks should be prepared for possible disasters that may threaten the integrity or preservation of samples. Depending on the area and environmental conditions of the biobank, some potential threats could include fires, floods, natural disasters and security breaches.
A biobank should not only have an early detection system in place but it is also recommended that a designated crisis management team be assigned to prepare risk assessments and a tailor-made contingency plan, should disaster strike.
Biobanking in South Africa: unique challenges and prospects
With a current population of approximately 60 million people, South Africa has one of the highest rates of communicable diseases including HIV, Tuberculosis, and a growing list of metabolic disease syndromes.
This high disease burden requires uniquely focused research and development to benefit a developing country with specific resource and logistical challenges.
South Africa's most serious threat to productivity is its limited energy resources. The combination of aging infrastructure and a rapid increase in demand for coal, has caused rolling, scheduled power shortages in South Africa. While SA's future energy plans include capacity-building projects and renewable energy options, it is not clear that there will be an end to the unavoidable power supply shortages.
It is vital to maintain temperature specifications in sample storage. Biorepositories in SA must therefore be aware of their energy supply. For reliable operation, a SA-based Biorepository will need to have backup generators and storage devices that can store stable energy.
Why consider biobanking for your samples?
Biobanking can seem like something that is only available to large research institutions and academic institutions.
Don't be afraid