[Securing the sustainability of biobanks]

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2016 Mar;59(3):390-5. doi: 10.1007/s00103-015-2302-7.
[Article in German]


Active research sites in biomedicine need professionally structured, sustainable biobanks that represent established resources and technology platforms across different locations and disciplines. Currently, the funding of research biobanks is not uniformly regulated, mainly because of the different focuses, services and concepts. On the other hand, the samples and associated data of biobanks gain significant value over time, and therefore their long-term storage should be envisaged right from the start.The sustainability of biobank structures can be viewed from various perspectives, but financial sustainability certainly represents the most demanding challenge. The financing of biobanks can be achieved by a well-balanced model consisting of institutional resources and other funding sources such as infrastructure and research projects, complemented by reimbursement. Structural measures such as the creation of centralized biobank structures and involvement in consortia and networks contribute to the long-term use and exchange of samples across biobanks. In turn, a quality-controlled and transparent documentation of all processes and structures is required, which guarantees the utilization of the sparse financial resources for the most efficient use of the precious resource of human biomaterial. The long-term goal is the sustainable financing of an infrastructure that is essential for any modern biomedical research and provides benefit for the society.

Keywords: Biobanking networks; Biobanks; Financing; Research infrastructure; Sustainability.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks / economics*
  • Biomedical Research / economics*
  • Financial Support*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Models, Economic*
  • Specimen Handling / economics*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / economics*