A complex intervention for workflow enhancement at the Swedish cervical cytology biobank

Biopreserv Biobank. 2014 Feb;12(1):69-73. doi: 10.1089/bio.2013.0068. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


The primary responsibility of biobanks is to collect biospecimens that are true reflections of the local population, thereby promoting translational research that is applicable to the community. The Swedish Cervical Cytology Biobank (SCCB) was designed as a hospital-integrated biobank in 2011. The SCCB has now been implemented in 10 county councils scattered across the country. It is headquartered at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. The SCCB now processes more than 60% of the liquid-based gynecological cell samples obtained throughout Sweden. To improve the productivity of health care and research that rely on SCCB samples, a high level validation of the biobank system according to the principles of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) is required. The performance of an entire high-throughput system validated by measuring the cell yield proved unsatisfactory after 1 year of sample collection and aliquoting. However, the results led to a number of high quality technical interventions for workflow enhancement. Subsequently, the improved process was applied to the system and led to a significant increase in cell yield. After the integration of the improved high quality methodology into the SCCB, the biobank services progressed more rapidly to serve the needs of personalized medicine and clinical studies. This enhancement was mainly due to the increased ability of the biobank to provide samples to research groups without any risk of leaving insufficient sample volumes for the care of the donor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks*
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Specimen Handling*
  • Sweden
  • Vaginal Smears*
  • Workflow*