What is a Biobank?
Biobanks are laboratories that collect and organize human specimens such as blood, saliva, plasma, DNA, and even whole organs for the purpose of research and donation. Some are government funded. For 36% of biobanks, government is the largest funding source. And the government provided some amount of funding to 57% of all responding biobanks in the past five years.
How and why are they organized?
Each specimen is carefully categorized by age, gender, ethnicity, blood type, and other factors like whether or not the person was a smoker. Each sample is then given a barcode to make sure any personal information about the donor is protected.
Keeping track of specimens can be difficult. The number of samples and other tissue in US biobanks alone was estimated to be more than 300 million at the turn of the century and is increasing by 20 million a year. However, even that number is not enough for researchers. A 2011 survey of more than 700 cancer researchers found 47% had trouble finding enough biobank samples to accommodate their needs. 53% of biobanks listed research on a particular disease as the most important reason for continuing collection, the most common being cancer. This year, there will be an estimated 1,658,370 new cancer cases diagnosed, which is why cancer research is an ongoing effort.
Laboratory sample management software can help technicians organize specimens through simple and complex searches, security, tracking, and annotation. Lab sample tracking is one of the most important functions of laboratory sample management software since it allows techs to know where samples are at all times and track their uses. Keeping track of shipments is quick and easy, ensuring no samples get lost in transit. For services, the software also comes with billing options. With so many samples coming in each day, keeping the lab organized is essential for running a successful biobank and continuing the search for cures for many different diseases.