Biobanking: the best practices for monitoring.

Biobanking: the best practices for monitoring.

When it comes to modern medical research and treatment, biobanking is a critical element that offers medical professionals, pharmaceutical developers and those in similar roles the opportunity to advance scientific and medical research in many beneficial and important ways.

Even though the ethics related to biobanking is the most high-profile concern for the organisations that operate these repositories, there are much more practical issues that these professionals need to address to run a successful operation. The main one being effective, accurate and consistent monitoring. Without the right solutions in place that ensure carefully calibrated safety and storage conditions are adhered to at all times, samples can easily become compromised and lose their usefulness. By following biobanking best practices, these facilities can ensure that they will always comply with audits of their operations and helps them to improve the dependability of the results tied to the biobanked materials.

Identifying relevant best practices for your biobank

There are some key differences between various types of biobanks. Smaller banks may focus on a specific health concern, type of population or research group. On the other side of the spectrum, larger facilities may offer a wide range of biosamples to many different scientific and medical professionals based on the relevance of the material to their specific projects. The difference between these two types of operations can have a substantial influence on the ethics and operational rules that biobanks must adhere to, as well as the operational products they put into place.

On the flip side, there are common factors between all biobanks regardless of their size or intended purpose. For example, maintaining an atmosphere conducive to safe storage in both the short and long term is especially relevant to facilities of all sizes. Biobanks need strong oversight of key factors. Such factors include temperature and relative humidity in storage areas to ensure samples remain safe, stable and useful.

It is also important for these facilities to have their documentation in order and should be considered as important when it comes to monitoring and adhering to the best practises for biobanking. Records of paper storage and maintenance systems used to keep samples viable are usually required as part of an auditing process or when attempting to identify if a breakdown occurred during the maintenance of integral samples. Even though some issues are inevitable, biobanks can mitigate any problems directly related to their operations by using affective and comprehensive monitoring.

While a combination of manual and semi-automated processes can be used to document temperature, relative humidity and similarly crucial factors, they tend to leave a large room for error. Even if staff check it consistently, adhere to the schedule and process for temperature checks (which is never a guarantee), they still may accidentally record an incorrect figure due to the potential for simple human error. On the other hand, a fully automated solution for monitoring offers some crucial benefits.

  • Consistently accurate records that can be securely stored for as long as is needed, helping organisations remain prepared for audits.
  • Identification of and alerts related to errors and issues, helping biobanks act before they encounter more serious or costly problems.
  • Better insight into operations on the micro and macro levels.

Finding effective support for your monitoring needs

The value of the correct solution for environmental monitoring at biobanks is clear. With these instruments, biobanks of all sizes and scale can follow critical best practices that apply to them regardless of their size and their specific needs.

Testo offers a wide range of complete digital solutions for monitoring in the form of Testo Saveris, including sensor technology, services and software that enables better and more consistent monitoring at the level biobanks require to ensure smooth operations and full compliance with regulations and audits. For more information, get in touch with the team at Testo New Zealand today!