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Biobank

At the Biobank Core facility we offer both operational and regulatory support for your research projects. We can assist you with advice on sample handling, analysis platforms and sample transportation as well as ethical application. We have a national responsibility to improve sample quality and identify biomarkers.

Research support

At the Biobank Core Facility, we can assist you with for exampel:

  • Sample collection
  • Sample handling
  • Ethical application

Operational support

Biobank Core Facility can assist researchers with advice on how to start sample collection and offer sample handling. We also offer assistance with analysis platforms and sample transportation. We can also in collaboration with Biobank Väst, offer IT systems, in order to keep full traceability of each biobank sample.

If you have a national study, initiated from Gothenburg involving multiple participating biobanks, please contact our national sample service-coordinator. The aim is to make sample collection easier for you as a researcher, with only one point of contact.

Regulatory support

Biobank Core Facility can assist you with ethical aspects such as ethical application and inform consent. We also help to establish the necessary agreement that needs to fulfill the legal requirements such as biobank applications and Material Transfer Agreement (MTA).

National and regional collaboration

At Biobank Core Facility, we collaborate with Biobank Väst, which is the common biobank of Region Västra Götaland. Biobank Väst has registration number 890 at the Swedish Health and Social Care Inspectorate.

We also form one of the national nodes in Biobank Sweden. Biobank Sweden supports healthcare providers and universities with the aim to harmonize biobank activity across the country. It is funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Biobank väst logo
We cooperate with Biobank Väst - the regional biobank for Västra Götaland.
Biobank Sverige logotype
We have a national role through Biobank Sverige

Access our Research Support

At Core Facilities we can give you advice and support in various questions you may have concerning your research and biobanking. Welcome to contact us!

Below we have also gathered a few frequently asked questions, with links to more information on the national website of Biobank Sverige.

In the brochure Guide to Biobanks in Sweden (pdf), there is useful information in English that will give you a good overview of Biobanks and research in Sweden.

The Swedish Act “Biobanks in Medical Care (SFS 2002:297)” applies for human tissue or cell samples if they are taken within healthcare and stored for longer than two months, including also samples collected for research purpose in the healthcare system stored for more than six months (OBS from 1 Jan. 2019). The purpose of the biobank act is to protect patient and/or donor’s integrity and rights meanwhile allowing samples to be used in research and clinical trials. It also requires full traciability of all samples collected within healthcare and therefore must be registered in a biobank.

English information at Biobank Sverige

 

To start a sample collection or gain access to existing biobank samples, you need:

  • An agreement with a biobank
  • An approval by a Swedish Ethics Review Board (ERB)
  • Patient/donor’s consent (unless the ERB has granted exemption)

Clinical trials for medical products must also be permitted by the Swedish Medical Products Agency.

You are welcome to contact us at Biobank Core Facility for further assistance.

Access to samples for research, Biobank Sweden

Existing sample collection

Samples collected within healthcare are usually taken for care purposes. These samples belong to the healthcare biobank and comprise a primary sample collection. Gaining access to these requires a decision from the biobank custodian, who shall ensure that sufficient material remains for the patient’s care and treatment. Note, biopsy-tissue/cytology samples passing through pathology department is also considered as an existing sample collection, regardless if samples are collected for the ongoing specific research project.

Newly collected samples

Samples collected for a specific research project. Note that newly collected samples in the healthcare principal’s area of responsibility must be registered within a healthcare principle’s biobank. The sample collection can be released to a research principle’s biobank and comprise a secondary sample collection.

Newly collected or existing samples, Biobank Väst (Swedish)

Within Västra Götaland, the biobank application is sent together with the documents needed to Biobank väst.

Biobank application in Västra Götaland (Swedish)

More information

A biobank application is always required for using biobank samples for research purpose. The application procedure differs depending on your study design and sample collection.

For access to the newly collected samples and multicenter studies of existing samples (single-centre studies), the application form "L1, Access to sample collection and personal data for research" shall be completed. For access to existing sample collection, following appendix can be attached:

  • L1a, if the application is concerning existing biopsy-tissue/cytology samples
  • L1b, if the application is concerning existing liquid-based samples
  • L1c, if the application is concerning existing samples in PKU biobank

Note: A sample collection can remain within the healthcare principle’s biobank or released to research principle or another designated biobank.

For access to newly collected samples in multicentre studies where the sample collection will be released to a recipient biobank, following application form "N1a, Access to newly collected biobank samples and associated personal data in multicentre studies" shall be completed, enclosed with both "N1a Appendix A” (Sweden’s County councils and regions involved in the study) and "N1b Appendix B" (investigators involved in the study).

Please note that the multicentre principle cannot be applied if only private healthcare providers are in the study. At least one County Council/region must take part in the study when using the multicentre principle.

For more detailed instruction concerning single-centre and/or multicentre studies and application forms, please visit Biobank Sweden.

In the Västra Götaland County, the biobank application is approved by the Regional Biobank centre, a unit under Biobank West, with registration number 890 in records of the Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO). Please attach the documents in an email to rbcvast@vgregion.se

Send your original documents to following address:
Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Biobank West/Regionalt biobankscentrum
413 45 Gothenburg

Samples within the scope of the study can be sent for analysis for certain purposes to another unit for research or to a university or to another contracted company domestically or abroad without it being considered to be a matter of extradition release. A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) shall be established with the host laboratory and following terms must be observed:

  • The healthcare principal’s biobank custodian must have continued responsibility for the samples
  • The samples must be pseudonymised(coded)
  • Personal data may not be sent in the same parcel as the samples
  • Consent must exist
  • The samples are returned to the healthcare principal’s biobank or destroyed after the analysis is completed.

For more detailed instruction concerning Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) and application form, please visit Biobank Sweden.

In the Västra Götaland County, the MTA is approved by Regional Biobank centre, a unit under Biobank West. Please attach the document in an email to rbcvast@vgregion.se

Send your original documents to following address:
Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Biobank West/Regionalt biobankscentrum
413 45 Gothenburg

Contact us

At Gothenburg University, as well as other universities in Sweden, there is a project manager/sample service coordinator with a national role with aim to facilitate national biobank research in Sweden. The project manager/ sample service coordinator in Västra Götaland has an affiliation with Sahlgrenska University Hospital. 

Wahida Sarwari
Project Manager and National Sample service-coordinator

Åsa Torinsson Naluai
Associate professor and University biobank-coordinator

Frida Jacobson
Project Manager, Researcher

About us

Biobank Core Facility at the Sahlgrenska Academy was established in spring 2018. Biobank Core facility collaborates with Biobank Väst and forms one of the national nodes in Biobank Sweden.

Each node in Biobank Sweden has a national service center and development projects in designated areas of excellence. In Region Västra Götaland , the national responsibility is to focus on sample quality. The aim of our project is to identify biomarkers that plays pivotal role in sample quality assessment and thereby develop standard protocols, harmonizing sample handling.