Biobanks are increasingly important for conducting state-of-the-art biomedical research. Amsterdam UMC Biobank supports researchers in establishing biobanks that meet current ethical and quality standards.

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.

Organization

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).

Services

Biobanking:

  • 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

Logistic support:

  • 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

Legal-ethical support:

  • 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

Facility management:

  • Access to central freezer rooms at location AMC and VUmc

  • Backup freezers in case of calamities

Getting started

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.

Prices

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

Quality management

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.

Safety

Our services comply to (inter)national standards, such as the PGS15 guideline for the storage of dangerous goods.

Environment

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.

Team

Adrie Kromhout Location manager
Aran Hartlooper Application specialist
Erik van Iperen Data specialist
John Wesseling Technician
Jörg Hamann Facility head
Kees Smid Technician
Linda Dillen Student
Mabel Bautista Anco Technician
René Minnaar Technician
Wanda van Ast Location manager

    Contact

    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

    Location AMC
    Room L01-124/125
    Meibergdreef 9
    1105 AZ Amsterdam
    T: 020-56 66499/61719
    Contactform Biobank location AMC

    Location VUmc
    Room ZH0A63
    De Boelelaan 1117
    1081 HV Amsterdam
    T: 020-44 40743
    Contactform Biobank location VUmc