The Availability of Human Biospecimens to Support Biomarker Research

Biomark Insights. 2022 Apr 19:17:11772719221091750. doi: 10.1177/11772719221091750. eCollection 2022.


Preserved biospecimens held in biobank inventories and clinical archives are important resources for biomarker research. Recent advances in technologies have led to an increase in use of clinical archives in particular, in order to study retrospective cohorts and to generate data relevant to tissue biomarkers. This raises the question of whether the current sizes of biobank inventories are appropriate to meet the demands of biomarker research. This commentary discusses this question by considering data concerning overall biobank and biospecimen numbers to estimate current biospecimen supply and use. The data suggests that biospecimen supply exceeds current demand. Therefore, it may be important for individual biobanks to reassess the targets for their inventories, consider culling unused portions of these inventories, and shift resources towards providing prospective custom biobanking services.

Keywords: Biobanks; Inventory; Utilization.

Publication types

  • Review