Biobanking pp 77-87 | Cite as

Autopsy Biobanking: Biospecimen Procurement, Integrity, Storage, and Utilization

  • Randy S. Tashjian
  • Ryan R. Williams
  • Harry V. Vinters
  • William H. YongEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1897)


An autopsy is a specialized surgical procedure consisting of external and internal examination of a deceased individual for the purposes of documenting abnormalities and determining or confirming medical diagnoses that may have contributed to their death. One of the benefits of an autopsy is the opportunity to collect and store biospecimens for the purposes of biobanking. This chapter outlines the procedures necessary to procure, store, and utilize biospecimens obtained during an autopsy. With the emergence of molecular diagnostics, this chapter also discusses factors that influence the integrity of autopsy biospecimens prior to procurement. These include the postmortem interval, as well as premortem factors such as the patient’s agonal state, biospecimen temperature, and pH.

Key words

Autopsy Biobank Biospecimen Integrity Postmortem interval Agonal state Temperature pH 



This work was supported in part by NIH:NCI P50-CA211015, NIH:NIMH U24 MH100929, the Art of the Brain Foundation, and the Henry E. Singleton Brain Cancer Research Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randy S. Tashjian
    • 1
  • Ryan R. Williams
    • 1
  • Harry V. Vinters
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • William H. Yong
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Brain Tumor Translational ResourceDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLALos AngelesUSA

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