Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
>
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

The Biobanking Community to Increasingly Require Innovative Products in Bio-Storage Applications

Published: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Long-term storage of clinical samples will be critical to the growth of biobanking.

The global proliferation of disease-based regional and national biobanks for clinical research has triggered a massive interest in long-term sample storage conditions. Simultaneously, it has spawned a requirement for good storage practices and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Biobanks need to carefully evaluate complaint storage, sample shipment and data management procedures during the formulation of a strategic sample management plan.

They are acknowledging the need to maintain sample integrity and viability by adopting new storage methodologies and solutions that will guarantee better sample quality to the research community.

Traditional methods of storage include storing samples in laboratory freezers at -20°C, -80°C and liquid nitrogen. These processes are being largely automated with the help of radio frequency identification (RFID) and micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies.

However, in recent times, there has been a perceptible shift in preference towards room temperature storage. Vendors such as Biomatrica and IntegenX, Inc are developing reagents to stabilize the DNA and RNA so they last long under ambient temperature. This process effectively eliminates the need for freezer units and extra storage space.

Over time, it becomes difficult for biobanks and biorepositories to track and retrieve samples stored at ultra-low temperatures. Traditional methods of storage involve barcoding microplates, wherein the retrieval of a single sample from a microplate would involve thawing the entire plate, which will affect the freeze-thaw cycles of other samples. Therefore, under the new system, sample storage is carried out in microtubes and individual vials.

Earlier, equipment and robotic arms were designed to handle microplates; now, systems are flexible enough to cherry pick individual microtubes.

For instance, TTP LabTech provides high-capacity storage for automated biobanking at -80°C; this system is capable of selecting a sample within 60 seconds.

Other notable mentions are Hamilton Storage, which provides a scalable and flexible third-generation automated system for biobanking; and Matrical Bioscience, which provides automated sample storage management and retrieval systems. Most of the storage systems offer robotic interfaces inside a chilled atmosphere to prevent the disturbance of unused samples.

“Biobanks’ interest in dry-state storing and eliminating freeze-thaw cycles has led to the introduction of many patented automated biobanking storage platforms for the samples requiring -20°C and -80°C. These platforms have the facility to store samples in both microplates and micro-tube format,” noted Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Senior Research Analyst Divyaa Ravishankar. “They ensure the continuous monitoring of samples even during picking.”

Most of the companies involved in long-term sample storage processes have indicated high use of Thermo Fisher Scientific and Micronic B.V’s 2D barcoded tubes. These tubes are permanently laser etched to provide traceability. However, in certain cases, too much of frost can hinder readability.

To resolve this challenge, RFID and the MEMS technology have been incorporated to enhance tractability even under frosted conditions. While Sysmex Bioscience employs RFID for its product, Icebreaker cryovial, and Bluechiip Limited uses MEMS technology. These advancements provide real-time alerts and a temperature history of the sample, as it is important that the sample does not undergo wide temperature variations during a given period.

For storage of tissue samples, Provia Laboratories provides innovative human tissue biospecimen storage containers and kit solutions called Proviasette. These have been designed for efficient storage and tracking, thereby increasing the productivity of tissue biobanks.

“However, many challenges still lie ahead for solution vendors. Given that no two biobanks function similarly, it is tough to generalize a technology platform,” said Ravishankar. “A lot of custom work is required to suit the workflow processes of a biobank. At the same time, obtaining funding and ensuring financial maintenance of the biobanking infrastructure will become tougher in the long run.”

Biobanking comes with the inherent challenges of continuous monitoring of clinical samples and associated sample information, which requires a highly integrated set up. In addition, an exponential increase in the volume of samples is leading to issues with storage capacity and duration.

While small quantities of samples could contaminate the researchers handling them, large quantities of samples could task the researcher with maintaining consistency. These challenges are making a strong case for replacing manual protocols with automated ones.

The lack of high-quality and clinically annotated samples highlights the need for standardizing sample handling and storage protocols globally. The paucity of standardized quality checking protocols for the pre-analytical phase creates roadblocks when comparing and sharing samples, especially when specimen volumes are likely to be high.

Biobanking also grapples with several ethical issues such as consent, personal integrity, privacy protection, safety of samples and access to data and stored samples. The laws and regulations pertaining to ownership, intellectual property rights and commercialization discourage the use of resource material.

Furthermore, the cross-border shipping of samples requires consent from donors. With the sole aim of safeguarding the donor information, governments in Norway and Sweden allow the analysis of samples but discourage their long-term storage.

All in all, a totally integrated system of hardware, software and consumable tools will be the way to ‘smart biobanking’. With the introduction of many technologies, forward-looking biobanks can retain sample quality/integrity by employing smart and smooth sample handling systems.

“The cornerstone of every biorepository lies in the efficiency of its freezer inventory software or the LIMS employed,” observed Ravishankar. “The key objective is to enable researchers to locate and use biospecimens.”


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Can Regenerative Medicine be the Cure for Cancer and Other Deadly Diseases?
Change in regulatory frameworks and standards are essential to expedite approval and release of innovative products.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Automation will Represent the Next Big Step for Biobanks, Says Frost & Sullivan
Exponential growth in sample volumes pushes biobanks toward automation.
Monday, January 07, 2013
New Applications in Drug Discovery Platforms to Fuel Advance of Stem Cells
Ethical, clinical and commercial issues to be navigated before full potential of stem cell therapies can be unleashed.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Frost & Sullivan gives an overview of the Global Automated Biobanking market
Robotics to aid and drive long term vision of truly personalised medicine
Friday, May 11, 2012
Scientific News
A Gene-Sequence Swap Using CRISPR to Cure Haemophilia
For the first time chromosomal defects responsible for hemophilia have been corrected in patient-specific iPSCs using CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases
Access Denied: Leukemia Thwarted by Cutting Off Link to Environmental Support
A new study reveals a protein’s critical – and previously unknown -- role in the development and progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing and extremely difficult-to-treat blood cancer.
New Weapon in the Fight Against Blood Cancer
This strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
Scientists Create CRISPR/Cas9 Knock-In Mutations in Human T Cells
In a project spearheaded by investigators at UC San Francisco, scientists have devised a new strategy to precisely modify human T cells using the genome-editing system known as CRISPR/Cas9.
Zebrafish Reveal Drugs that may Improve Bone Marrow Transplant
Compounds boost stem cell engraftment; could allow more matches for patients with cancer and blood diseases.
New Material Forges the Way for 'Stem Cell Factories'
Researchers have discovered the first fully synthetic substrate with potential to grow billions of stem cells. The researchcould forge the way for the creation of 'stem cell factories' - the mass production of human embryonic (pluripotent) stem cells.
Liver Regrown from Stem Cells
Scientists have repaired a damaged liver in a mouse by transplanting stem cells grown in the laboratory.
Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Myeloma
A strategy, which uses patients’ own immune cells, genetically engineered to target tumors, has shown significant success against multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells that is largely incurable.
'Google Maps' for the Body
Scientists have revealed research that uses previously top-secret technology to zoom through the human body down to the level of a single cell that could be a game-changer for medicine.
Adaptimmune's Novel Cancer Therapeutics Show Positive Clinical Trial Results
The company has announced that positive data from its Phase I/II study of its affinity enhanced T-cell receptor (TCR) therapeutic targeting the NY-ESO-1 cancer antigen in patients with multiple myeloma has been published.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!