Background: One of the main issues in biobanking is the establishment of standard operating procedures for specimen collection, preparation and storage to control for pre-analytical variation. For biological fluids such as serum, there is currently a lack of sensitive biomarkers for the quality control of cryopreservation conditions.
Methods: The process approach was used to establish an ISO 9001:2000 quality management system. Immunoenzymatic and functional assays were used to assess the stability of the following candidate quality control biomarkers: secretory phospholipase A2, matrix metalloprotease 7, transforming growth factor beta1 and anti-HBs immunoglobulin.
Results: Five product processes and their corresponding indicators were identified. In the preparation-aliquoting-storage process, no quality control indicator for serum was identified. Only matrix metalloprotease 7 showed moderate susceptibility to freeze-thaw cycles.
Conclusions: Biomarkers that have an on-off response to temperature variation could serve as quality indicators for the core processes of biobanking, which are the preparation and storage of biological fluids. The identification of such biomarkers is needed.