Biobanks (also known as Biorepositories) are an organized collection of samples stored for scientific research purposes. These samples consist of human biological materials including tissues, organs, blood, plasma, serum, DNA, RNA, protein and cells. Biobanks usually catalogue samples based on physical traits such as age, blood type, gender or disease state such as diabetic or normal. All specimens are collected with informed consent and comply with institutional and government bodies, in order to ensure that they respect ethical requirements for research purposes and that sample integrity is upheld.
Biorepositories have safeguards in place that mandate that the rights and privacy of the participants and patients are maintained. This is achieved by coding all specimens obtained with a unique identifier number, thus stripping away any direct and indirect information to the individual. Only authorized healthcare personnel may have access to the database.
Biobanks provide researchers with the potential to study DNA and protein expression. Such data provides insight into the physiological function of a cell or organ and how those tissues respond or are altered during disease. This in turn helps researchers understand the causes of illnesses and help generate potential therapeutic treatments.
Biobanking Services Offered
At the MHITL, we pride ourselves to be able to offer researchers around the world with a vast selection of terminally derived pancreatic tissue. Our extensive biorepository contains over 3 000 samples from over 100 donors that include whole pancreatic tissue biopsies, isolated and purified islets of Langerhans and acinar tissue from both normal and diabetic donors. With each sample, an extensive donor information record is maintained that will allow researchers to look at various parameters to complete a research study. We can also customize the procedure for biobank sample processing based on a researcher’s study design. All of these features of our biobank ensure that researchers have the tools at their disposal to find answers to the questions they pose.
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