Biobanking Patient Samples in a Clinical Lab

Tracking Biospecimens for Testing and Analysis

At Core Informatics, we work with customers who use biobanking for various reasons. In a previous blog post, Managing Biobanking Samples and Sequence Data for Research, we outlined some key considerations for biobanking for research purposes. Here, we’ll focus on the management of patient samples in a clinical setting. Whether biobanking is used for R&D or in the clinic, our biobanking solution for the Platform for Science can be configured to meet your specific needs.

Biobanking in the Clinical Setting

As an example of some of the data management challenges in clinical biobanking, we’ll share the story of a Core client who is using the Platform for Science to capture clinical data based on a genetic diagnosis kit.

In this setting, the process starts at a doctor’s office where the patient’s information is entered into the laboratory information management system via our Core API. In order to preserve patient privacy, the system creates a unique identifier to anonymize and track the sample. Patient samples are securely entered into the system and a unique container ID is generated for tracking the genetic sample throughout its journey. All information about the patient is tracked back through the unique identifier.

As with R&D based biobanking, additional information is included with the sample registration. This data includes: the genetic test request, the type of tissue submitted by the patient, and the container ID.  Patient samples can be linked to study groups and sites to make sure they are tracked properly as they may move from a doctor’s office to a testing facility.

In this customer’s workflow, the laboratory performs the genetic test, and then a medical doctor reviews the data and assigns a score of the test in the LIMS. Then the system gathers the information submitted in the sample registration and the experiment, and summarizes it in a PDF report that is then sent to the doctor’s office. This information is eventually given to the patient. This customer’s use of biobanking has rather immediate results, when compared to a long-term study or simply cryopreservation.

Applications for Biobanking Solutions

Samples entered into the Platform for Science with our biobanking solutions can be securely managed without compromising privacy or confidentiality. Our Clinical Specimen Accessioning app, used in conjunction with the Clinical Study Management app, allows labs to create and maintain full chain-of-custody for clinical specimens. The bar-coded unique identifiers follow the sample throughout testing, so everything can be tracked electronically – reducing errors in transcription and retaining privacy. All study information within the platform is quickly available via secure dashboards which allow users with appropriate permissions to view study information.

With the biobanking applications available in the Marketplace, laboratories can use the modular applications to create biobanking solutions to fit their needs.


Jose Murga is a CSM residing in NYC. He graduated from Queens College (’98) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and earned a Master’s Degree from New York Medical College.  Prior to joining Core Informatics, he was a research scientist at Progenics Pharmaceuticals and contributed to the publication of research articles in various drug discovery programs including HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), HCV (Hepatitis C Virus), PI3K inhibitors in oncology pathways and antibody-drug conjugates specific to Prostate Cancer.