How does the BioBank work?

The work process at the BioBank can be summarised in 5 points:

  • Signing of the Material Transfer Agreement: HIV HGM BioBank receives biological material from independent donors and from individuals integrated in different cohorts, collections or clinical trials.

    In the last case, the management of HIV HGM BioBank and the coordinator of the corresponding cohort, collection or clinical trial sign an agreement to store the samples; this is a document that establishes the guidelines for hospitals, centres or services to send biological samples and identifying data to HIV HGM BioBank

  • Shipment of samples: HIV HGM BioBank staff send the so-called “kickstarter toolkit” to the staff responsible for the shipment of samples in the corresponding hospitals, centres and services; this toolkit contains documents which explain how the extraction and shipment of biological material to HIV HGM BioBank should be done. All these documents are available in the downloads area in this website’s donor area.

    HIV HGM BioBank and the corresponding hospital, centre or service have to arrange the date of extraction beforehand in order to send the samples. Once the date of shipment is arranged as well, the hospital makes an appointment with the patients to carry out the extraction and HIV HGM BioBank contacts the courier company to make the collection. In the case of samples from HGUGM, the staff designated by clinicians takes care of bringing the samples to HIV HGM BioBank platform.

    Prior to sample extraction from patients for research purposes, they must sign a document that explains how extractions are made and what samples are for. This document is the informed consent or the informed assent in case of patients between 12 and 16 years old.

  • Reception, processing and preservation of samples: HIV HGM BioBank staff receives, processes and cryopreserves the biological material and files the associated information. Samples are processed and stored in conditions that guarantee their viability and outstanding quality.
  • Data consolidation and quality control of biological material: In order to ensure the reliability and traceability of samples and the associated information, HIV HGM BioBank staff perform regular inspections of the information registered in the database and contrast it with the one available in the cohorts, studies and clinical trials that store clinical data from donors, and with the hospitals, centres or services that send biological material.
  • Sample cession: Samples available in HIV HGM BioBank are handed over to research projects. To do so, the researcher has to submit a sample cession application to HIV HGM BioBank. All these applications must come from projects approved by a Clinical Research Ethics Committee (CEIC). The application is evaluated by an external committee not linked to HIV HGM BioBank, who issues the corresponding report. This report can be a denial, improvement or acceptance report. If it is an improvement report, the researcher can modify his or her project and then a new process is started for the evaluators to determine if the application is suitable for cession or not. When reports are favourable, a cession agreement is established and so the process of preparation and sample cession begins

    After the cession, the correct use of samples and compliance with applicable legislation and with HIV HGM BioBank requirements is verified. For this purpose, researchers are requested to send yearly Report of Activities and a final report at the end of the project.

    All documents related to sample cession are available in the downloads area of this website’s donor area.