Access to biological samples

The Danish National Biobank stores millions of biological samples that can be used for research projects

Many samples are from specific research projects or national screenings. This means that data about the donors and screening results are often available. Further via the Danish Biobank Register, information such as donor age, gender, diagnosis, operation procedures etc. can be linked to the samples.

Overview of biological samples and diagnosis in the Danish National Biobank

 

Biological samples in the Danish National Biobank 
Serum 4,200,000 
Dried blood spot samples 2,200,000
Plasma 1,300,000
Whole blood 560,000
DNA
510,000
Urine
310,000
Blood clot
188,000
Amniotic fluid
70,000
Saliva
70,000
Buffy coat
60,000
Cord blood mononuclear cells
60,000
Proteins from DBS
50,000
Spinal fluid
30,000
DNA from feces / faeces
20,000
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC)
1,500
Breast milk
600
Total 9,630,100
Access to the biobank samples can be obtained in four steps.

Access to the biobank samples can be obtained in four steps.

1) To gain access, your project must be approved by a research ethics committee. According to Danish law, all research projects involving human biological material must obtain such an approval. Researchers from abroad who collaborate with a Danish institution responsible for data, either as part of a public research institution or an established non-commercial research and analysis environment, may gain access to material from the DNB. Likewise, Danish and foreign companies that collaborate with a Danish institution responsible for data, i.e. a research institution of an established non-commercial research and analysis environment, may gain access to material from the DNB.

2) Once approval is obtained, you apply through the national access system for biological samples and health data, Scientific Services at the Danish Health Data Authority. From here the application is forwarded to the Coordinating Centre at the Danish National Biobank. Besides an ethics committee approval, you must submit a project description, sample retrieval list, and a statement that the funds necessary to retrieve the samples are available. If the biological samples are located in external biobanks, the Coordinating Centre can coordinate the application, so that you as a researcher only has to apply once. The Coordinating Centre can furthermore guide and advise about access to samples.

3) Incoming applications are assessed by the Scientific Board. The Board is made up of: 2 persons from SSI, among these the chairman, 1 person from the Danish Council for Independent Research| Medical Sciences, 1 person from the Danish Regions, and 1 person from the organisation Danish Patients. The Scientific Board evaluates applications in the order they are received and responds no later than one month from receipt of a complete application.

4) Agreement of the terms for sample retrieval and handling is made by the DNB laboratory and the scientist. The normal limit is set to 100 µl serum/plasma or 1 µg DNA. Sample are retrieved and handed out.