There are many types of biorepositories today including population-based, virtual, disease-centric, and project-driven. Biorepositories that are disease-centric focus on collecting data and specimens on a particular disease such as cancer. Population-based biobanks are designed to collect genomic and phenotypic information from healthy donors as well as sick donors.
A project-driven biorepository is typically managed by one investigator and has a smaller scope and size. A virtual biobank, on the other hand, is an electronic repository of specimens and related information that can be accessed from any location. You can also visit this link to get your samples tested at online biobanks.
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No matter what type of biorepository they are, the four main operations that they must perform are the same:
Biorepositories take biological samples from donors. Biobanking can collect tissue, blood, urine, skin, and other data from donors. It is important that all biospecimen collected are correctly identified.
After samples have been collected, they must be preserved. The type of biological material used for preservation will vary. Cryopreservation is the most commonly used technique for storing specimens. A general analysis is performed at this stage. If necessary, a diagnosis may also be made.
The biospecimens are stored until further research is done. The most popular method of preservation is cryopreservation. This involves storing the samples in extremely low temperatures in liquid nitrogen tanks (-196degC) or freezers (-80degC).
Every biorepository's ultimate goal is to eventually distribute collected samples to researchers who are doing various studies on particular diseases. Barcode labels can be used to track and retrieve samples. Biobanks will have some sort of review process in place to ensure that valuable samples are sent to researchers who have been properly evaluated and approved.