We provide comprehensive storage for biological materials as well as services related to sample logistics and data management. Materials can be pieces of tissue, cells, serum, plasma, liquor, urine, feces or molecular fractions, such as DNA and RNA.
n our ultra-low temperature freezers and refrigerators, we currently house more than 150 collections, including the HELIUS study on health differences among the residents of Amsterdam with different ethnic origin, the numerous cohorts of Amsterdam Neuroscience, the Liquid Biopsy Center of the Cancer Center Amsterdam, and the recently established COVID-19 biobank.
An important part of our work is the release of stored materials for actual research projects. We currently support ±150 projects per year with about 50.000 samples.
Amsterdam UMC Biobank is a core research facility that belongs to the division Laboratory Specialisms. We closely work together with laboratories providing pre- and post-analytic services, including the Central Research Labs (Clinical Chemistry) and the Core Facility Genomics (Human Genetics). The Amsterdam Research Board and a Biobank Council (to be re-established) advise us on biobank matters.
Amsterdam UMC Biobank actively participates in national bio- and databanking initiatives under the umbrella of Health-RI, such as BBMRI and Parelsnoer. Of particular importance is our long-lasting partnership with the Durrer Center for Cardiovascular Research at location AMC.
Guidelines and ethics
Our activities comply to the Code of Conduct that regulates the use of patient material for research and to relevant legislation, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Collecting clinical data, images, and/or patient material for biobanks requires permission by the ethics committees for biobanks at Amsterdam UMC – for procedures and forms, see the intranet webpages of the BTC (location AMC) and the TcB (location VUmc).
Cryostorage of biological materials at +4°C, -80°C, and -196°C
Sample tracking using a biobank management information system (BIMS)
Virtual registry of existing collections
Catalog with overview of collected materials plus basic descriptive information
Advice about starting biobank collections, including pre-analytic procedures
Infrastructure and equipment for collecting and distributing samples
Support of multicenter initiatives between (non)academic hospitals
Advice about questions pertaining to legal and ethical issues
Safeguard related to legal and ethical requirements
Support on data management/stewardship:
Customized implementation of infrastructures to collect, analyze, manage, store, archive, and share clinical research data and images
Development of catalogs at study or patient level
Advise in writing data management sections or plans
Access to central freezer rooms at location AMC and VUmc
Backup freezers in case of calamities
It is recommended to discuss biobanking activities with us at an early stage. This includes all phases from the initiation of new biobanks over the maintenance of historic collections to the issue of material from existing cohorts. Activities need to be approved by an ethics committee, which is the BTC for location AMC and the TcB for location VUmc. Sharing of material with external parties also needs to be discussed with the knowledge transfer office (IXA). These rules apply to scientific and clinical use biobanks.
Once permission is obtained, sample and data collection can be started. Pre-analytic services are provided by specialized laboratories based on protocols harmonized under the auspices of Health-RI. Similar procedures are developed for the issue of samples. The catalog of BBMRI.nl provides key information on biobank collections housed at Amsterdam UMC Biobank and enables researchers to request specific samples through a standardized and transparent process.
As core facility, we need to earn back costs for technical investments (BIMS, freezers and refrigerators) as well as the effort of our technicians. To this, we handle prices for the intake, storage, and release of samples. Please, ask us for a detailed quotation.
|Storage temperature||Intake (once)||Storage (per year)||Issue (once)|
|+4 till -80oC||€0,50||€0,025 – €0,04||€0,50|
|-196oC (liquid N2)||€1,00||€0,50||€1,00|
Prices refer to standard aliquots of 1-2 ml.
Quality, safety, and environment
We have implemented a quality management system for the control and continuous improvement of high-quality storage of biological materials and the facilitation of data management. ISO9001:2015 certification has been obtained as of January 2018 at location AMC and will soon be applied for at location VUmc.
Our services comply to (inter)national standards, such as the PGS15 guideline for the storage of dangerous goods.
We work with -80°C freezers that, by using natural hydrocarbon refrigerants with low global warming potential and minimizing energy consumption, reduce environmental impact and save money. Moreover, location VUmc operates a large ultra-low temperature Nordic installation, equivalent to 45 standard freezers. For storage at -196°C, cost-efficient large-scale vapor phase tanks with very low liquid nitrogen consumption are used.
|Adrie Kromhout||Location manager|
|Aran Hartlooper||Application specialist|
|Erik van Iperen||Data specialist|
|Jörg Hamann||Facility head|
|Mabel Bautista Anco||Technician|
|Wanda van Ast||Location manager|
Amsterdam UMC Biobank
Dhr. dr. J. (Jörg) Hamann, Head
Mw. dr. J.F. (Wanda) van Ast, Manager location AMC
Dhr. ing. A. (Adrie) Kromhout, Manager location VUmc
1105 AZ Amsterdam
T: 020-56 66499/61719
Contactform Biobank location AMC
De Boelelaan 1117
1081 HV Amsterdam
T: 020-44 40743
Contactform Biobank location VUmc