Best Practices for Establishing a Biobank

  • Göran Hallmans
  • Jimmie B. Vaught
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 675)


A biobank may be defined as the long-term storage of biological samples for research or clinical purposes. In addition to storage facilities, a biobank may comprise a complete organization with biological samples, data, personnel, policies, and procedures for handling specimens and performing other services, such as the management of the database and the planning of scientific studies. This combination of facilities, policies, and processes may also be called a biological resource center (BRC) ( Research using specimens from biobanks is regulated by European Union (EU) recommendations (Recommendations on Research on Human Biological Materials. The draft recommendation on research on human biological materials was approved by CDBI at its plenary meeting on 20 October 2005) and by voluntary best practices from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) ( and other organizations. Best practices for the management of research biobanks vary according to the institution and differing international regulations and standards. However, there are many areas of agreement that have resulted in best practices that should be followed in order to establish a biobank for the custodianship of high-quality specimens and data.

Key words

Biobank Biological resource center Specimen Liquid nitrogen Biological sample Cryovials Bar code 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Göran Hallmans
    • 1
  • Jimmie B. Vaught
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and Clinical MedicineUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen ResearchNational Cancer Institute, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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