Biobank Technology

Scientists around the world draw upon Coriell’s cell bank of collections which contain cell lines from more than half of the approximately 4,000 known genetic diseases. For more than 60 years, Coriell has set the standard in biobanking services, from initial collection, to cryogenic preservation, and information management, to the distribution of human biomaterials used in research. Coriell’s technology infrastructure, laboratory processes, and standard practices virtually eliminate risk of specimen data loss, mislabeling, or contamination. Coriell has built a stellar reputation in repository science and management that allows Coriell scientists – and investigators around the world – to pursue their research programs in genetics and cell biology.

Biospecimens prove more useful for research when accompanied by annotation of relevant phenotypic data. Examples of data included are the following:

  • The diagnosis made by the submitting investigator.
  • The number of cell generations or passages since the original sample was obtained.
  • Bibliographic references about the particular cell line.

A computerized data file of the properties of each cell line contained in the repository is updated on a continual basis as new information becomes available. This content is provided to the user community in the form of a data sheet accompanying each cell culture distributed. 

With more than 2 million vials of cells, 2 million tubes of DNA, and hundreds of thousands of other biomaterials maintained at Coriell, the immensity of accompanying data is substantial. A customized information technology solution is protecting the physical integrity of samples as well as their privacy, and automates the management of samples to protect them. Coriell has the ability to alert response teams far in advance of a system interruption, effectively removing any risk to the samples. The monitoring data generated by this solution provides a complete history of the storage conditions for each sample record in its inventory system. This level of quality assurance is critical to ensuring Coriell can provide robust samples to research partners around the world.

Not only the quality, but also the accessibility of the biospecimens makes the Coriell Biobank so unique. Scientists from around the world can browse the sample catalog and then request specific cell lines for their research studies. An inventory of the remaining stock of each cell line and DNA preparation is presented in real time.

The biobanking solution is powered by IBM technology that includes: IBM XIV System Storage; IBM Tivoli, and IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition.