Asset Publisher Asset Publisher

What is a biobank?


A biobank is an organized collection of biological samples and associated health information stored for research purposes.

Storage of liquid samples (like serum/plasma) at -80  or below (Biobank Graz) Conventional storage of paraffin-embedded tissue (Institute of Pathology & Biobank, Graz) Storage of frozen biological samples (Institute of Pathology & Biobank Graz)


Typical biological samples stored include tissue, body fluids (such as blood, serum, blood, urine, or fluids from punctures), cells and related derivatives (RNA, DNA, or proteins). Usually, these samples are associated with clinical data (like blood pressure or lung volume) and information regarding personal lifestyle (sport habits or smoking behaviour).


The purpose of biobanks is to give researchers access to samples and data to support medical research and the development of new diagnostics, biomarkers and pharmaceutical treatments. Particularly in the era of personalized medicine these biologial resources are vital for medical innovations.


Biobank collections can be dedicated to specific patient groups (e.g. with a specific cancer diagnosis) or whole populations.


In Austria the large biobanks are located at medical universities. They represent disease-oriented biobanks as they collect samples and data within the context of clinical care. Biological materials found in such biobanks are collected from patients and represent residual material of samples taken as part of an exploration or a clinical follow-up. Samples for clinical studies and diagnostic purposes have been collected throughout the history of medicine.


Video: Information Clip for Patients (ENGLISH)  (by Med Uni Graz)


View video about biobanks (in ENGLISH)>>    


Storing and connecting medical samples and data raises legal and ethical questions. For addressing these questions, we assess public engagement as important. What are citizens' opinions on biobanks? What is expected regarding data protection and distribution of possible outcomes, profits and risks?

These questions are currently addressed in discussion meetings, so-called Citizen-Expert-Panels. These panels provide a forum for discussion and a room for exchange between citizens and experts in the field of biobanking.


View video about Biobank Graz >> Partner Biobanks

More about partner biobanks >>


Language Language

English English Deutsch Deutsch

Asset Publisher Asset Publisher

How does Covid-19 vaccination work in immunodeficiency?

study with partner Biobank Graz involvement (Dec 2021)

Pre-analytics CEN standard “human sample for microbiome DNA analysis” now published in German members led its development wishes a Merry Christmas ...

... and a Happy and Prosperous New Year

How could drugs against corona help?

Servus TV report in PM Wissen about research at partner Med Uni Graz (Dec 2021)

Data Item Quality for Biobanks

Publication by partner Alpen Adria University (Dec 2021)