Biobanks VS Biorepositories: The Difference

3 min read

SHARE

Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email

The short answer is that all Biobanks are Biorepositories, but not all Biorepositories are Biobanks. Realistically speaking, the terms “Biobank” and “Biorepository” are used pretty interchangeably. I used them interchangeably myself in a previous article. However, for those looking to make technical distinctions, there are those willing to talk definitions with us. So this blog post aims to clarify the blurry distinction between the two terms, at least on the technical front, for those who recognize these differences, which are not universally recognized. The differences we can point out when someone asks:

 

  • What is the difference between Biobanks and Biorepositories?

 

  • Biobanks

    Biobanks are a special type of Biorepository. They are essentially dedicated, specialized spaces for the storage of human tissue samples, predominantly for research purposes. Cell lines, ganglia, blood, stem cells, etc. Technically speaking, only biological tissues of human origin are stored in Biobanks. Biobanks are typically equipped with backup generators so that samples being stored at specific temperatures facilitated by electric power never fall outside their target temperature range. Biobanks typically hold specialized freezers that do not undergo thaw cycles, liquid nitrogen cooling equipment, and other specialized storage facilities which control light and temperature for tissues requiring warmer storage.

    Biobanks’ functions are not limited to optimal sample storage; they also facilitate better sample sorting, tracking, and distribution, to provide ease of access for researchers and a clear sample chain of custody for all relevant personnel. They tend to serve research directed exclusively to the biology of the human body. Because of this, Biobanks are often affiliated with organizations equipped to ethically solicit and obtain samples of human tissues, such as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and academic institutions.

 

  • Biorepositories

    Biorepositories of the general sort function as ideally conditioned spaces for the storage, retrieval, and sorting of any type of biological material. Plant material, animal material, bacterial material, or human material can all be stored in Biorepositories, technically speaking. They differ from Biobanks in that Biobanks are supposedly dedicated spaces for storing exclusively human biological materials. They’re similar to Biobanks in much of the way they’re equipped with regards to specialized freezers, multiple backup generators, liquid nitrogen cooling systems, and other light-and-temperature-controlled storage facilities. Although Biobanks might hold more specialized equipment for the storage of more varying types of cell cultures and such.

    Biorepositories can hypothetically serve a number of biological research purposes, from human and veterinary medicine to agricultural crop improvement. Under that definition, a Biorepository can be associated with multiple research institutions, as opposed to being exclusively associated with biomedical research organizations.

 

It is important to remember that for many scientists, research associates, administrators, investors, regulators, and generally, a large number of those involved in a scientific or biomedical field in any capacity, the above-mentioned distinctions are fairly blurry. You might find major institutions who call their facility a Biorepository, whilst using it exclusively for human biomaterial. Or vice versa. Biobanks holding biological material from all life forms.

If you’re reading international industry literature translated to English, or in their original language, it may be worth noting that these kinds of linguistic definitions might not apply in certain languages.

These differences primarily concern those leaning towards making technical distinctions. They are useful distinctions however; in case you ever work with people who don’t seem to be using the terms “Biobank” and “Biorepository” interchangeably. Looking back on this information, you’ll know where they’re coming from.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Share this blog:

Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email

Request a demo specialized to your need.

Prioritizing Communication Through an Integrated CTMS

Related Resources

Data management in a cloud-based world

Over the years, technology has made its way into different aspects of clinical trials bringing in significant progress in the field. There is no denying that in a

Cloudbyz eConsent

With increasing complexity in clinical trials and the adoption of virtual trials, ensuring patients and subjects have a clear understanding of what they will encounter and experience when

Cloudbyz - Safety & Pharmacovigilance Solution Overview

Disparate systems can cause preventable delays in periodic and AE/SAE reporting, which can

Clinical Trial Budget Management

Clinical trials are performed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the new drug, improve the capabilities of known drugs.

Cloudbyz is focused on developing innovative enterprise applications and solutions built natively on Salesforce to help enterprises be innovative and agile.

1770 Park Street,Suite 108
Naperville, IL 60563, USA
Phone: +1 (630)-425-5475
Email: info@cloudbyz.com

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest update from us by subscribing to our newsletter.

ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 Certified

© 2021 Cloudbyz