Vascular Biomaterial Banking in Academia
Authors: Hakimi M, Wortmann M, Böckler D, Schirmacher P, Herpel E, Peters AS
CellNetworks People: Schirmacher Peter
Journal: Eur Surg Res. 2019 Feb 6;60(1-2):13-23. doi: 10.1159/000495525

To establish a high-quality vascular biomaterial bank to serve vascular research teams and act as a basis for translational medicine. The aim was to collect and store material so that investigation into the pathogenesis of vascular disease would be possible employing methods based on histopathology and/or molecular biology.

The Vascular Biomaterialbank Heidelberg (VBBH) evolved as part of an established, partly accredited biobank complex at the University of Heidelberg (BioMaterialBank Heidelberg - BMBH). The BMBH provided infrastructure regarding legal and quality issues as well as safety, protocols for specimen collection, data management, and publication of results. Protocols were modified where necessary to accommodate specific needs of vascular tissue research. Correct identification of vascular biomaterial is controlled by certified vascular surgeons and pathologists at biobank entry and exit. Pseudonymized clinical data are attached to every specimen.

The VBBH provides standardized operating procedures (SOP) regulating the request, processing, and delivery of material to researchers, as well as project tracking. Tissue samples for a research project are requested by filling out an online application form. Within 3-5 working days, a scientific board, including a member of the VBBH and a member of the BMBH, decide upon acceptance or rejection of the research project. Criteria determining acceptance include whether enough samples are available for the particular investigation and whether planned methods are judged adequate to successfully complete the research project. Through tracking of all ongoing studies involving specimens from the VBBH, methods for tissue conservation are continually being optimized. The VBBH platform has supported numerous high-ranking publications involving diverse medical departments and reflects a gain in translational medicine.

SOPs and controls by certified specialists ensure the high quality of specimens obtained through the VBBH. Research performed by vascular surgeons can be facilitated by using the VBBH.