In addition to our bioservices, an important part of our activities is focused around biospecimen research. To be able to ensure that biological samples are of the highest quality, we study which pre-analytical factors during collection, processing and storage can impact sample quality and hence downstream applications.
Focus on sample quality
Biospecimen research is a key component of our approach to guaranteeing the quality of samples: first protocols are optimised and then the impact of pre-analytical variables on sample quality is assessed so that protocols can be validated for their robustness and reproducibility.
Our biospecimen research is intended to improve biobanking processes both within IBBL and in biobanks and laboratories working with biospecimens across the globe. That is why we are also studying the best ways to manage pre-analytical variables, evaluating and validating new technologies and equipment, developing novel workflows and quality control tools, and working to establish guidelines.
Many of our biospecimen research projects are collaborations with academic or industrial partners, as well as the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).
These are some of our on-going research projects:
- Research and validation of micro- and macro-molecular biomarkers for the quality of preservation of biological samples, and the validation of the related methods (with LCSB and ISBER)
- Method comparison on RNA integrity (with QIAGEN)
- Intra-individual miRNA stability (with Wafergen)
- Automated peripheral blood mononuclear cell extraction from CPT tubes (with TECAN)
- Fecal sample collection and processing for DNA analyses (with LCSB, CryoXtract, Perkin Elmer, DNA Genotek)
- Evaluation of different types of polypropylene storage containers (with FluidX)
- Evaluation of CSF freeze-drying (with the JPND BIOMARKAPD consortium)
- Impact of fixation conditions on tissue RNA (with the US National Cancer Institute)
- Room temperature storage of whole blood (with the University Hospitals Geneva)
- Interactive Protocol Project for simultaneous DNA, RNA and protein extraction from tissue (with Imperial College London)
- Evaluation of a molecular biology-friendly fixative (with RNAssist)
- Immunohistochemistry optimisation for PAXgene-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue (with PreAnalytiX)
Interested in finding out more? Take a look at the results of some of our research in the scientific publications below or get in touch through the contact box to further discuss our research.