The goal of BioSpecimen Commons is to improve reproducibility in preclinical research by providing an online forum to share standard operating procedures related to biospecimen collections and to connect researchers with the collections of biological specimens most appropriate for their intended research.
Much of research relies upon the use of high-quality, preserved tissue and fluid specimens to detect disease mechanisms and develop biomarkers for tracking disease. Patients generously donate these samples hoping for advances in the treatment of disease and billions of biospecimens are located in biorepositories worldwide, with the potential to transform medical research and patient care.
However, differences in collection, storage, and other variables associated with biospecimens has the potential to cause experimental bias or, in some cases, render large sets of biospecimens completely useless.
Furthermore, even when defined standard operating procedures (SOPs) for biospecimen handling are used, they are not readily available to the broader biobanking and researcher communities, as there is no centralized location where SOPs can be obtained in a format that accessible by automated search.
Setting the Bar
Set a higher bar for biobank standards by requiring biobanks to use carefully defined transparent, standard operating procedures (SOP) used for biospecimen collection.
Ensure the best specimens are available for use by researchers as they drive precision medicine and identify biomarkers by providing clinicians, biorepositories, IRBs, granting agencies, publishers and researchers an easy-to-use method to find, input, modify and report SOPs.
Promote transparency in specimen sourcing and handling to improve reproducibility between labs and studies through a web-accessible and searchable registry (and associated mobile app), containing all SOPs used for biospecimen collection.
The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, in collaboration with GBSI and ATCC, has developed an online, transparent, centralized database that link SOPs to the sample collections. Any SOP is accepted into the registry as long as it meets formatting requirements and includes the defined minimal information. This enables researchers to identify how a particular biospecimen was procured, handled and stored and allows them to find collections appropriate for their experiments. This new tool, Biospecimen Commons, already has 300 repositories listed encompassing about 250 separate SOPs with plan for wider utilization in the future. www.Biospecimencommons.org
GBSI is also working with International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) to create a set of processing standards for handling samples.
Creates an accessible common location to find and review SOPs, thereby improving the state of research by making these resources readily available.
Creates unique IDs to reference SOPs in publications, grants and IRB submissions, enabling comparisons among biospecimens based on the SOPs used for their collection.
Fills a desperately needed void within the research community to share the methods used to collect biospecimens.
Biorepositories span a wide range of sizes
Routine for Researchers