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  • 1.  Biospecimen Storage

    Posted 10-19-2022 16:34
    Good Afternoon All,

    I'm currently looking at some modernization options for my core, and I was wondering if you all had min/max lengths of total storage time for specimens. I'd love to hear if you all have minimum sequester times to allow for QC/QA, and if you have a specimen age at which you discard as no longer viable. I'd be interested in both general and specific comments as we have a large variety of samples in LN2, -80C, Controlled Ambient, etc.

    Thanks All!

    Ryan Robinson
    Director, Tissue Procurement Facility
    University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill, NC

  • 2.  RE: Biospecimen Storage

    Posted 10-20-2022 16:28
    Hi Ryan,

    I passed your message along to our Veterinary BioBank at Cornell University, and here is their response:

    So interesting to get this question now! I just presented at a cell and gene therapy symposium and learned a lot from those colleagues (cell viability experts).

    Here are the standards that already exist:

    1. USP 1044 Cryopreservation of Cells -

    2. ANSI/PDA Standard 02-2021: Cryopreservation of Cells for Use in Cell Therapies, Gene Therapies, and Regenerative Medicine Manufacturing -   

    Please see if any of this information could be helpful to your colleague.

    Thank you.
    I hope this info helps!

    Suzin Webb

    Suzin Webb
    Cornell University, Institute of Biotechnology
    Ithaca NY

  • 3.  RE: Biospecimen Storage

    Posted 10-21-2022 17:18
    Edited by Ryan Robinson 10-21-2022 17:19
    Thank you Suzin!

    Ryan Robinson
    Director, Tissue Procurement Facility
    University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
    Chapel Hill NC

  • 4.  RE: Biospecimen Storage

    Posted 10-21-2022 16:31
      |   view attached
    Hi Ryan,
    I've uploaded a stability table that we follow as a general rule.  But in my experience, no one ever wants to discard anything.  
    P.s.  Join our biobank community!

    Sara Bowen
    Program Manager
    Barrow Neurological Institute
    Phoenix AZ


  • 5.  RE: Biospecimen Storage

    Posted 10-24-2022 10:49

    Hi Ryan,

    I don't wish to seem vague in responding, but answers to your questions can be widely different based on what you are storing and what is the anticipated use. Tied to those factors is also your mission and/or goals.


    For instance, our program is primarily a 'prospective procurement service' as opposed to a straightforward biobank. We have a high utilization rate (80% +). We only bank samples that are rare specimens or that we know are likely to be used even though we don't have an active protocol at the time of collection. 


    We perform an annual audit to determine if we need to cull samples. We make those decisions based on many factors including (but not limited to): storage time; number of aliquots; sample size; number of similar samples types; preservation type (FFPE, -80, -20, OTC, etc.); available storage space; trends in science, etc.


    QC is done on samples shortly after the time of collection and samples that fail QC are destroyed quarterly. QC audits are performed on a small percentage of samples that have been stored for long term (>5yrs).  There's a decent amount of literature out there indicating that stable storage conditions will allows samples to be stored for very long periods.


    So in the end, decisions on storage time go back to what are you storing and why.  And I also agree strongly with Sara – no one really wants to discard anything... if you have enough space.

    If you have specific questions, join the biobank community and we can discuss in more detail.






    Diane (Dee) McGarvey, QBRScm

    Director, CHTN Eastern Division

    ISBER Director-at Large, Americans Region

    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    University of Pennsylvania

    568 Dulles, 3400 Spruce Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    Phone: 215-662-4571


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