IBBL study shows that not only freezing, but also heat allows tissue stabilisation

IBBL’s Biospecimen Research team has published new data which suggests that heat stabilisation of tissues is an alternative processing method for the analysis of certain phosphoproteins.

Phosphoproteins are crucial in the regulation and execution of a variety of processes within human cells and have been linked to multiple diseases. Their potential as biomarkers means that they are being extensively studied in the field of personalised medicine. The quality and amount of phosphoproteins that are extracted from human tissues is of paramount importance in this type of research. Unfortunately this type of protein is particularly susceptible to degradation and modifications during processing, which can distort research results, especially if there is variation in the collection or processing methods.

In collaboration with the NorLux laboratory of Neuro-Oncology of the CRP-Santé, IBBL scientists carried out a study to compare 2 very different stabilisation methods that aim to preserve tissues, and thus phosphoproteins, in their native state. Their data, published in the Biopreservation and Biobanking journal, shows that heat stabilisation, which uses instant 95˚C heating and pressure, preserved certain phosphoproteins significantly better than snap-freezing, where samples are rapidly frozen to below -80˚C. In addition, the team around Dr Fay Betsou reported that the stability of these proteins was affected by the method of extraction from tissues.

IBBL’s Biospecimen Research Scientist, Dr Olga Kofanova, who carried out the study, comments: “Our results show that heat stabilisation may be a good alternative for the specific analysis of phosphoproteins and that the phosphoprotein assay may also be a useful tool for quality control. It also underlines the importance of biospecimen research in continuously improving our techniques to offer the highest quality samples to our collaborators and clients”.

The full article is available here