Biospecimen Recovery separates the samples from the patient after collecting them to provide the accurate results that the medical labs need for their research. The processes involve:
- Labeling and printing systems.
- Preanalytical sample processing.
- Protecting the specimens from hot and cold ambient conditions.
Preanalytical sample processing
Preanalytical sample processing for biospecimen recovery involves various factors, from sampling to handling, transport, and storage. The variability in these variables can lead to research data with a high degree of uncertainty.
human tissues for research are critical for translational research. However, their suitability for investigation depends on many factors, including the type of specimen, its quality, and the process by which it was collected. These elements can be addressed through the use of quality control measures. By measuring the accuracy of the biospecimens, researchers can identify those best suited for particular studies. This can also aid in determining the most appropriate treatment decisions for patients.
One method of ensuring that the samples are correctly processed is to apply a preanalytical sample code. A preanalytical code is a seven-item code that identifies the characteristics of the specimen. As a result, the sample can be more easily accessed and used interlaboratory.
A biobank can provide consistent sample collection, storage, and tracking. Biobanks equipped with a solid infrastructure can support a successful translational research program. Moreover, they can help in disaster recovery planning.
To ensure that biobanks comply with the National Cancer Institute (NCI)/Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research (OBBR) guidelines, biobank staff should be vigilant in updating their SOPs with the latest advancements. To do so, biobanking staff should regularly review the literature on biobanking practices. They should also check their requisition forms to verify that they contain the correct information on the biospecimen.
Labeling and printing systems
Labeling and printing systems are used to identify and label biospecimens. These devices help ensure that the sample is recovered, correctly identified, and easily retrieved. They also provide information about the process of collecting and processing the specimens.
Regardless of the type of labeling and printing system used, selecting materials resistant to the environment where the specimen will be stored is essential. This includes the material’s ability to withstand exposure to sunlight, chemical agents, and elevated temperatures.
The storage of wet specimens poses some unique challenges for labels. Often the brands are submerged or attached to the model, requiring different materials and procedures.
Standard operating procedures should be reviewed periodically to ensure they adhere to the highest standards. It is also essential to have a system to monitor the operations of the equipment.
A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) can track the movements of a biospecimen both within and outside the laboratory. Records of this information can be necessary supporting documentation for scientific publications.
Specimens should be labeled according to the study they are associated with. This is vital in ensuring that the research is based on well-characterized assays. Also, it is critical to avoid the introduction of variables into the research process.
Protecting them from hot or cold ambient conditions
Biospecimens can be living cells, tissue, or even seeds. Regardless of their origin, they should be processed in a manner that prevents any degradation. This requires standardization of processes and procedures to minimize the risk of any biomolecule being degraded. In addition, specimens should be stored in secure locations and only accessible by authorized personnel.
Biospecimens should be stored at temperatures appropriate to the material. Several factors are to consider, including the external climate conditions, the type of materials being held, and the analytical method used.
Biospecimens should be packaged in insulated containers to protect them from the effects of temperature fluctuations. Similarly, they should be packed in coolers that are approved for transportation. Depending on the sample type, they may be shipped at room or cryogenic temperatures.
Besides storage, various logistics processes are essential for a successful cold chain. These include data capture and real-time monitoring of storage units.
Biospecimens should be transported with a constant temperature measuring device. Ideally, the device should indicate the minimum temperature inside the shipping container. If necessary, dry ice can be added to maintain the temperature of the samples throughout the distribution.
Temperature-sensitive samples should be handled by a courier who can replenish refrigerant. If necessary, the package should be wrapped in aluminum foil to avoid degradation of the biological molecules contained in the sample.
The revenue projections for biospecimen recovery are essential to justify the investment in biobanks. However, these projects must include cost accounting that captures the total costs associated with provisioning samples. In addition, they need to address resource utilization issues at a publicly funded national biobank.
A national bioresource can serve as a catalyst for innovation in translational medicine. This is because it can help reduce the time to market for cancer-fighting drugs. At the same time, it can increase the quality of patient diagnosis and treatment. Ultimately, this can lead to lower healthcare costs.
The demand for the preservation of tissue specimens drives the biospecimen recovery industry. Specifically, the human tissues segment dominates the market. In addition, the availability of state-of-art research infrastructure and easy approval for clinical trials are other key factors driving the market in North America.
Biobanks tailor pricing to the customer segments they are serving. For example, they may provide tissue acquisitions for a ” custodial collection contract.” However, the fees are based on several variables, such as the type of sample, the size of the specimen, the pathology parameters, and the requesting investigator.
Cost recovery practices should address resource utilization issues for a publicly funded national biobank. These practices should also demonstrate responsiveness to stakeholders. Ultimately, they need to help stabilize revenue.