Veterinary and human biobanking practices: enhancing molecular sample integrity

Vet Pathol. 2014 Jan;51(1):270-80. doi: 10.1177/0300985813510532. Epub 2013 Nov 13.


Animal models have historically informed veterinary and human pathophysiology. Next-generation genomic sequencing and molecular analyses using analytes derived from tissue require integrative approaches to determine macroanalyte integrity as well as morphology for imaging algorithms that can extend translational applications. The field of biospecimen science and biobanking will play critical roles in tissue sample collection and processing to ensure the integrity of macromolecules, aid experimental design, and provide more accurate and reproducible downstream genomic data. Herein, we employ animal experiments to combine protein expression analysis by microscopy with RNA integrity number and quantitative measures of morphologic changes of autolysis. These analyses can be used to predict the effect of preanalytic variables and provide the basis for standardized methods in tissue sample collection and processing. We also discuss the application of digital imaging with quantitative RNA and tissue-based protein measurements to show that genomic methods augment traditional in vivo imaging to support biospecimen science. To make these observations, we have established a time course experiment of murine kidney tissues that predicts conventional measures of RNA integrity by RIN analysis and provides reliable and accurate measures of biospecimen integrity and fitness, in particular for time points less than 3 hours post-tissue resection.

Keywords: anatomic pathology; biorepository; digital imaging; genomics; spectral imaging; tissue sample quality assurance/quality control.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Autolysis
  • Biological Specimen Banks / classification
  • Biological Specimen Banks / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genomics
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Proteins / analysis
  • Proteins / isolation & purification
  • RNA / analysis
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Fixation / methods
  • Tissue Fixation / standards


  • Proteins
  • Formaldehyde
  • RNA