Introduction: Long-term storage of biological materials is a critical component of any epidemiological study. In designing specimen repositories, efforts need to balance future needs for samples with logistical constraints necessary to process and store samples in a timely fashion.
Objectives: In the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), the Biobank was charged with long-term storage of more than 380,000 biological samples from pregnant women, their partners and their children for up to 100 years.
Methods: Biological specimens include whole blood, plasma, DNA and urine; samples are collected at 50 hospitals in Norway. All samples are sent via ordinary mail to the Biobank in Oslo where the samples are registered, aliquoted and DNA extracted. DNA is stored at -20 degrees C while whole blood, urine and plasma are stored at -80 degrees C.
Results: As of July 2006, over 227,000 sample sets have been collected, processed and stored at the Biobank. Currently 250-300 sets are received daily. An important part of the Biobank is the quality control program.
Conclusion: With the unique combination of biological specimens and questionnaire data, the MoBa Study will constitute a resource for many future investigations of the separate and combined effects of genetic, environmental factors on pregnancy outcome and on human morbidity, mortality and health in general.