The past decade has seen an explosion in the number of samples generated for research and analysis—largely due to the increased focus on translational medicine and epidemiology. In addition, a significant increase and focus on high quality sample yields and how they are accurately and efficiently managed is now a top concern for researchers who are often charged with managing enormous volumes of both samples and their relevant data.
This sharp rise in the number of samples researchers are expected to handle along with cost pressures, regulatory compliance, tracking needs and limited storage space have led to significant laboratory streamlining initiatives and often times to the outsourcing of sample management activities to third-party biorepository or biobank networks which can more efficiently manage samples and also free up researchers' valuable time.
The function of biobanks is quite diverse:
- Storage of frozen cell aliquots intended for primary pharmaceutical screening
- Tissue biopsies for disease research
- Patient DNA samples used by government agencies
- Large, multi-sample population libraries for translational studies
- Diversity of Facilities
Some facilities, like the UK Biobank, have been extensively planned with automation enabled at the outset to facilitate the intended large storage capacity and desired retrieval rates. Others are based around an ad hoc collection of samples in deep-cooled freezers that rely on manual retrieval methods. In both cases, a growing and important consideration is being given to national, regional and disease-specific biobanks in efforts to ensure the safety and integrity of precious samples, maximize efficiencies and meet regulatory compliance guidelines.
The benefits of properly managed data:
- Well organized, accurate and timely availability of data provides both scientific and business users with meaningful information used in discovery and in the daily decision-making process
- Preconfigured to facilitate data capture and specimen management
- Facilitates chain-of-custody and handling assurance needs that improve operational efficiencies
- Supports organization-wide inventory control—whether storing or tracking whole blood, tissue, cellular lysates, DNA, RNA, or proteins
- Web interface provides centralized global access in a secure environment
- Built-in patented graphical workflow utility tool allows organizations to easily extend capabilities and tailor the solution to the needs of each laboratory's unique data capture, result management, storage and specimen handling requirements
- Automated sample management module ensures that biological samples are stored safely
- Thermo Fisher Scientific is the leading provider of renowned analytical equipment, instruments, consumables, reagents, media, services and informatics software
- Our robust offering of sample management products and services address the scaling needs of biobanking laboratories worldwide. In addition to Thermo Scientific Nautilus LIMS, Thermo Scientific BioBank is an automated sample management module designed to safely store biological samples and the Thermo Scientific line of 2D barcoded screwcap tubes includes ABgene*, Matrix* and NUNC* tubes. The critical nature of biobank samples make permanently-attached 2D barcodes for secure sample tracking and chain of custody a superior choice over traditional labels.
In Good Company
Thermo Scientific Nautilus LIMS* has been implemented at the UK Biobank, the Hunt Biobank in Norway, and the Singapore Tissue Network to name a few.