What you need to know

Storing and accessing samples

The NSW Health Statewide Biobank uses large-scale robotic technology to store up to three million human bio-specimens – a first in Australia.

High-quality standard operating procedures ensure researchers can trust each sample has been treated in accordance with best practice international biobanking standards.

Specimens are deposited and retrieved from the cold storage facility through a dedicated processing laboratory, developed in consultation with NSW Health Pathology.

Streamlined workflows allow for fast, efficient handling of a variety of sample types – including those processed externally, fresh liquid samples (such as blood, urine and saliva) and fresh and fixed solid samples (such as tissues).

NSW Health Pathology staff are on-site to manage the facility during normal working hours from Monday to Friday. Access to samples outside this time will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Round-the-clock monitoring of the facility will also ensure immediate response to emergencies such as power or compressor failures. This will ensure optimal conditions for sample storage can be maintained and will also help minimise the possibility of damage or loss.

Storage options and costs

The NSW Health Statewide Biobank offers a range of service options for researchers to store and access stored biospecimens samples of external collections.

Costs vary depending on the research partners’ requirements, but all are based on a cost recovery model to ensure long-term viability of the biobank.

A breakdown of the costings is included on this fact sheet, as well as some scenarios.

For further information on storage options, access to samples and costs contact us.

Sample custodianship

Legacy collections

Custodianship of the samples from legacy collections and associated data will be in line with the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) approval for the specific study. Custodianship typically resides with the study investigators. Decisions regarding use of the samples will be made by the investigators on a case-by-case basis.

New Projects

Custodianship of samples for new research projects and associated data will be in line with HREC approval for the project. As with existing collections, custodianship of the samples typically resides with the study investigators.

For more information

Download our FAQs for researchers.

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