A biobank is similar to a bank in many ways. These banks store human biological samples, instead of money which are stored for diagnostic as well as research purposes. All data with regard to the same are studied, sorted, categorized and stored in the bank along with the samples. Although the concept of a biobank started in as late as the early 90’s, they have grown by leaps and bounds in the past few decades. These banks are a key resource with regard to all major biological samples from humans which includes blood samples, FFPE, cancer tissue and other biological samples. As such, the biobanks play a crucial role in research in the field of genomics, genetics and general medicine.
In order to study a particular disease’s causes and prevention, extensive research needs to be carried out. A single hospital may come across many patients with new and alarming diseases which need to be researched. This calls for the need of pooling specific biological samples from different sources, which in fact, was a demanding task for researchers before the advent of biobanks.
Large quantities of biological samples are required in research to derive the precise details and conclusions about a certain disease, and a biobank facilitates for the same. A biobank has a pool of donors like hospitals and individuals who contribute to the bank in the form of different biological samples. In this way, these banks have an extensive collection of biological samples, experts in the research field and exhaustive data regarding all the samples. These samples are then used mainly for research and study in an array of fields ranging from general medicine to human evolution.
Types of Biobanks
The biobanks are divided into sub-groups with regard to their functions. Most of these biobanks fall into one of the mentioned categories.
Purpose Oriented Biobanks
The design or purpose oriented biobanks have affiliations with hospitals. In this way, they collect biological samples like blood cells, tissues and other samples from the hospitals. These samples are mostly collected from the patients and the purpose of these kinds of biobanks is to research for certain biomarkers from the samples.
Population- Based Biobanks
The population-based biobanks may or may not have affiliations with hospitals, as they get their blood samples from a large number of people. The aim of such banks is to look for biomarkers of diseases which are susceptible in a large population of all ethnic groups. Apart from biological samples, a population bank also collects information and stores data with regard to lifestyle and environment. These two factors are closely connected to the study of causes and prevention of a disease and are vital with regard to research in general and preventative medicine.
The main purpose of these banks are to collect samples for diagnosing the symptoms, reasons and the effects of disease conditions on a specific group of people. The virtual biobanks collect such data which is relevant to the same. It is more of a government regulation to promote public health. It helps health authorities to identify a risk factor, to take preventive measures to keep diseases at bay, make health policies and find new treatment methods for a new disease in the general population.
The tissue banks collect and store human tissues for the sake of research and transplantation. These banks collect only tissues like the blood banks which collect only blood. As biobanks are getting more popular, the tissue banks can become a part of the biobank rather than existing as an entity for the collection of just tissues.
The given information is just a summary of the biobanks. Their scope, relevance and contribution in the fields of public health, research and general medicine is invaluable. Their functioning is critical to the general health and well-being of the world population.
A little info about author:-
James Alston is a professional writer that focuses mainly on Health & Fitness based business and Services. I also work on relationships, Health ,Fitness, Nutritional foods & recipies, Medical Issues.He recommends you to use biobank services. I do write articles, scripts, books and other materials for clients.