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A Brief Introduction About Biobank

Biobanks are the primary source of high-quality human biological samples. Biobanks are often referred to as biorepositories, but there is a fine distinction between the two. Biological storage includes the collection of plants, animals, and other non-human specimens, whereas biobanks mainly store human biological samples. Biobanking is the collection, storage, and distribution of human biological samples and related data for clinical studies.

What is a Biobank?

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The two main components of biobanking are:

  • Handling of biological materials
  • Database management system

Types of samples collected in the biobank:

There is a list of human samples collected and stored in the biobank, including whole blood, plasma, serum, erythrocytes, white blood cells, DNA, RNA, proteins, cell lines, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, amniotic fluid, bone, bone marrow cells, etc.

Types of biobank

A population-based biobank:

It is a collection of human DNA samples that collects, analyzes, and reserves phenotypic and genetic data about a representative sample of the source. Population biobanks have been heavily involved in international efforts to harmonize data and samples. 

Disease-oriented biobank:

It is also known as a clinical biobank. They collect biological samples from patients, with which genetic and non-genetic factors of the disease are also examined. Network banking and rare disease biobanking are the two main areas of disease-oriented biobanking.

Biobank Operation:

Biobanking mainly consists of the following four standard operations:

  • Collection
  • Processing
  • Storage
  • Distribution

The purpose of the biobank:

The goal of the human biobank is to develop a central resource to support research in a better understanding of human disease. Some of the objectives of the biobank are as follows:

  • Create sample collections from multiple sources
  • Carry out a study on the collected sample
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer
  • Ensure sample quality, quantity, and representativeness
What Is Biobanking and Why Is It Important?

Biobanking refers to the process by which samples of bodily fluid or tissue are collected for research use to improve our understanding of health and disease. Other information, such as height, weight, and questions about things that may have a bearing on health (e.g. family history and lifestyle) may also be recorded at the same time, to provide the context for the samples.

Often the samples are kept indefinitely or for several years, depending on the study, so that long-term future research can be carried out. The researchers may track the health of the participants by looking at their past and future medical records, but only if people have given them permission to. You can also get to know more about biobank via

The Human Tissue Authority has useful information for people interested in donating for research and The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has also recently issued a useful report called ‘Human bodies' donation for medicine and research.


Some Biobank, recruit large groups of healthy people from across the population and then use the samples over time to see if we can work out why some people go on to develop particular illnesses or conditions while others do not.

Other biobank projects are focused on specific conditions and may involve both healthy volunteers and people with the condition in question. Samples may be collected initially for one very specific research study, and then be kept for future use in other research.

Sometimes family members of people with a particular condition are also recruited so that researchers can compare their health and medical history with those of people who have the condition.