Future proofing your biobank

Our blog

11 December, 2013

Safely store, track and access your samples long into the future

With the ever increasing use of biological samples in research it is critical to have a safe reliable and efficient way to access and retrieve these samples. The design, implementation and operation of new biobanking facilities are becoming widespread across many organizations and facilities. A massive investment in automation, has allowed these organizations to access and utilize samples such as blood, tissue, cells, DNA, RNA and proteins derived from humans as well as animal and plant matter.

For the clinical world, biobanks provide an opportunity for researchers and clinicians to assess the potential benefit of therapies and diagnostics in vitro, on stored tissue and cells with specific disease or genetic profiles, before they reach the costly clinical testing environment. In short, the effective long term storage, identification and transportation of biological samples are of paramount importance to the on-going medical research efforts that will provide us with new therapies and treatment strategies long into the future.

Accommodating a multitude of sample formats

The safe and efficient storage of multiple samples is not without its challenges. As increasing numbers and types of samples require storage, many biobanking facilities are ill equipped to deal with the change in scale and sample format that is required. Often the facility itself may not be large or flexible enough; it may only be able to store certain samples types, or sizes. Also, there may be no formalized sample management and tracking systems in place, insufficient redundancy and a lack of necessary monitoring systems to safeguard these stores into the future. All these factors can contribute to sample loss, sample degradation and difficulties with sample access; issues which are unacceptable when looking at the long term storage of precious and often highly valuable biological samples.

Looking ahead with the Institut Curie

Earlier this year our team at TTP Labtech started working with the Institut Curie in Paris to update its dedicated biobank. The Insitut is one of Europe’s largest research centers operating at the forefront of oncology research, and its biobank, which happens to be France’s national repository for tumor tissues, is home to over 30,000 samples and derivatives.

The institute sought an installation of a new advanced biobanking system as a strategically vital step in guaranteeing the safety of its invaluable and rapidly growing sample repository. The team needed to ensure that poor sample integrity and issues with tracking and store accessibility would not be factors limiting the quality and progression of its future research. This is where we, at TTP Labtech, felt that we could make a real difference. By using our engineering and product innovation expertise we were able to design and implement an effective modular biobanking solution utilizing our unique arktic® biostore. The small footprint of the arktic made it possible to place three units in different areas of the institute, enabling easy access for each research group.


For our part, the development of this effective biobanking system began with customer consultation; we listened to their short and long term needs to provide a system that was scalable and allowed easy sample management and tracking, and met internal and external regulatory requirements. As Dr. Xavier Sastre-Garau, Director of Pathology at the Institut Curie commented: “We required a future-proofed system that had the flexibility to grow as our biobank expanded, could store a range of different sample types including microliter volumes of DNA and RNA isolates, enabled easy random access and facilitated better sample management and tracking through a new 2D barcoded system.”

Having the ability to store samples in different research departments allows us to provide our customers with an incredibly flexible storage platform that also accommodates different biological sample types, from whole tumor tissue samples to DNA, RNA and protein. We are working with a number of leading institutions and organizations worldwide, where we continue to help our customers develop and install advanced sample management and biobanking systems to take them through the next decade and beyond.

Looking to create a next generation solution for your biobank requirements, why not get in touch?

Contact us. [http://www.ttplabtech.com/contact/index.html]

Find out more about our comPOUND storage solution. [http://www.ttplabtech.com/products/compound/index.html]

Find out more about our arktic biobanking solution. [http://www.ttplabtech.com/new/arktic.html]