Uppsala Biobank is the joint and only biobank organization of the two principals, Uppsala University and Uppsala University Hospital. Biobanks are required to have updated registries on sample collection composition and management in order to fulfill legal regulations. We report here the results from the first comprehensive and overall analysis of the 131 research sample collections organized in the biobank. The results show that the median of the number of samples in the collections was 700 and that the number of samples varied from less than 500 to over one million. Blood samples, such as whole blood, serum, and plasma, were included in the vast majority, 84.0%, of the research sample collections. Also, as much as 95.5% of the newly collected samples within healthcare included blood samples, which further supports the concept that blood samples have fundamental importance for medical research. Tissue samples were also commonly used and occurred in 39.7% of the research sample collections, often combined with other types of samples. In total, 96.9% of the 131 sample collections included samples collected for healthcare, showing the importance of healthcare as a research infrastructure. Of the collections that had accessed existing samples from healthcare, as much as 96.3% included tissue samples from the Department of Pathology, which shows the importance of pathology samples as a resource for medical research. Analysis of different research areas shows that the most common of known public health diseases are covered. Collections that had generated the most publications, up to over 300, contained a large number of samples collected systematically and repeatedly over many years. More knowledge about existing biobank materials, together with public registries on sample collections, will support research collaborations, improve transparency, and bring us closer to the goals of biobanks, which is to save and prolong human lives and improve health and quality of life.
2014. Vol. 12, no 5, 325-331 p.