Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland – from bench to bedside
What are biobanks?
A biobank is a collection of human samples (e.g. tissue, blood, cells, extracted DNA) that is linked to the sample donor’s health data (with the informed consent of the donors). Samples for clinical studies and diagnostic purposes have been collected throughout the history of medicine, but in the new biobank concept, defined by the Biobank Act, the collected samples can be used for a variety of future research needs, not just for a defined specific research purpose as previously. Furthermore, the new research results are returned to the biobank to further enriche its data set.
Biobanks are key resources for unravelling the molecular basis of disease mechanisms, identification of new therapeutic targets and biomarkers – all of which lead to personalized healthcare and more effective treatment strategies. Especially the digitalization and generation of big data will create great opportunities to develop new and targeted forms of treatment and health services.
Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland
Biobank Borealis of Northern Finland was established by Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District, the University of Oulu, NordLab and the hospital/healthcare districts of Lapland, Länsi-Pohja, Central Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. Finnish biobanks collaborate via the national BBMRI.fi (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) network and FinBB Co-operative.
Biobank Services for Researchers
The biobank can assign samples and related data for high-quality health science research and development. Biobank’s scientific committee evaluates all sample and data requests that can be submitted to all biobanks via Fingenious -portal. At the end of the study, the analyzed results related to the samples and / or the raw data will be returned to the biobank . The results of the study must also be published, e.g. in a scientific peer-reviewed journal.
Via biobank, the researches have the opportunity to obtain large sets of high-quality sample materials linked to various clinical data, collected and stored in controlled conditions. Additionally, services in Whole Slide Imaging/Digital Pathology and production of Tissue microarray (TMA) blocks is provided. Researchers have also the opportunity to collect sample materials for their specific projects in collaboration with the biobank, e.g. focusing on certain diseases.