Biorepositories are biological materials repository that collects, processes, stores, and distributes biospecimens to promote the future scientific investigation. Biorepositories can hold or manage specimens from animals, including humans and many other living bodies.
In other words, biorepositories are a bunch of biological specimens maintained under specific conditions, mainly for research purposes. There has been a prolonged request for automated biobanking over the last few years, both from academic and commercial organizations. Biorepositories conserve a large variety of biological samples from humans, animals, and other living organisms.
The improvements in biomolecular research and information technology have eased our approach towards obtaining essential data from human biological samples. This can be of great help in finding new cures for cancer and other incurable diseases. In this process, biorepositories hold an essential role.
Various companies from different fields such as the biotech, chemical, and medical industries use dedicated biorepository services.
Pharmaceutical companies prefer to store their biological samples in specialized biobanking facilities, rather than using their internal biorepositories. There are specific companies that offer automated biobanking and sample management options. Professionals make sure that all the stages of biobanking operate in proper conditions.
As stated before, a biorepository collects and stores biological samples. When placing the biosamples into the dedicated biorepositories, four steps are essential. The first step consists of managing the samples. The second step is preparing the samples for storage. The third step is placing the samples into storage and supervising them. The final step is the retrieval of the samples.
The biorepository needs to offer storage conditions in a temperature-controlled environment; else, the biological samples will not preserve their integrity. The incoming specimens must be quickly and safely secured in refrigerated storage units. All the sample information is maintained in databases for easy access and retrieval.
There are specialized robots dedicated to working in low-temperature environments. These robots use cherry-picking techniques for specimen retrieval, picking up only the required tube, while the other samples remain untouched. The temperature monitoring is regularly done so that it is always preserved at the correct value. There should be temperature alarms in all the rooms where biospecimens are kept. Real-time monitoring is performed using dedicated computer software.
Biorepositories also need to have back-up generators to be used when power cuts happen.
Concluding this, it can be said that biorepositories play a vital role in scientific research and drug development. Specific quality standards need to be met, though, and maintaining the sample integrity while storing and retrieving the samples is the most critical concern.