[Merging different biobanks under one roof : Benefits and constraints on the way to a centralized biobank using the example of the BMBH]

Pathologe. 2018 Jul;39(4):320-327. doi: 10.1007/s00292-018-0444-8.
[Article in German]


Founded in 1386, Heidelberg University is Germany's oldest and one of Europe's most reputable universities. As a scientific hub in Germany, Heidelberg is home to several internationally renowned medical research facilities that have an enormous demand for biomaterial samples and data-especially in the field of translational and cancer research.The main objective of the BMBF-funded project "BioMaterialBank Heidelberg" (BMBH) was the harmonization of local biobanking under the same administrative roof through the implementation of common and standardized project, data, and quality management procedures.In the very beginning, existing structures and processes of the participating biobanks in Heidelberg were identified and a common administrative structure with central representatives for IT and quality management (QM) was established to coordinate all BMBH activities.Over time, implementation of consented structures and processes took place, also revealing organizational challenges that had to be solved concerning, for example, differences in sample handling and the definition of consistent access regulations.We will discuss below these challenges as well as the opportunities of building a centralized biobank and show how issues can be resolved using the example of the BMBH.

Keywords: Biological specimen banks; Biomedical research; Health care quality assurance; Tissue banks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks*
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Europe