The Human Tissue Resource Network Biorepository is comprised of samples from the Alliance Biorepository at Ohio State, the Epidemiology of Burkitt Lymphoma in East-African Children and Minors (EMBLEM) and special projects from principle investigators within The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The Human Tissue Resource Network Biorepository follows the guidelines of NCI Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources and ISBER Best Practices for Biorepositories. Preparation and application for CAP Accreditation for the biorepositories is under consideration.


  • The Alliance Biorepository at Ohio State banks biospecimens collected from patients enrolled in Alliance clinical trials. Samples include FFPE tumor and normal tissue, frozen tissue, plasma, serum, whole blood, PBMCs, urine and DNA. These samples are used later in correlative science research by approved Alliance research investigators or for NCI-approved secondary use of left over biospecimens collected for particular trials.
  • The Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN) Midwestern Division stores a limited transient inventory of tumor and normal tissue, tissue slides and paraffin embedded tissue blocks to help jump start new CHTN investigators throughout the country and Canada who utilize human biospecimens in their research.
  • Special projects led by Ohio State faculty are designed for their unique research purposes. Current biospecimen types stored within the Human Tissue Resource Network biorepositories include pap smear, urine, saliva, cells and others, in addition to traditional tissues and fluids.

Storage of Samples

Tissue samples are stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen for long term storage. Plasma, serums, white blood cells, urine and OCT are stored in -80 degree Celsius freezers and DNA/RNA later specimens are stored in -20 degree Celsius freezers. Unstained slides are stored in four degree Celsius refrigerators and are vacuum packed to avoid oxygen and light degradation.

Equipment Specifics

The Human Tissue Resource Network Biorepository is currently comprised of three 190 degree Celsius liquid nitrogen freezers, 30 -80 degree Celsius freezers, 14 -20 degree Celsius freezers and 24 four degree Celsius refrigerators. Vacuum sealers preserve Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) and unstained slides best for long term storage and utility because DNA, RNA and proteins are affected (diminished or structurally difficult to label in testing) when oxidation and water loss occur.

Rees Scientific Equipment Monitoring System

The Rees system secures the integrity and quality of samples stored in both the primary and secondary sites. Freezer and refrigerator temperature units are automatically monitored 24/7 by electronic wireless probes installed in each unit. This system is designed to provide the ultimate high-security environmental monitoring. The biorepository storage devices feature automatic paging that notifies on-call staff in case of an emergency. The system uses the wireless eCentron technology and also monitors the remote off-site backup biorepository site. The biorepository features an automatic backup electric powered generator and a staff emergency response team that responds to any unit malfunctions. Unit maintenance checks are conducted routinely to ensure optimal performance. A secondary electronic backup monitoring system is under consideration at this time.

Secondary Biorepository

An off-site, remote biorepository for disaster planning, split sampling and storage of archival biospecimens is located at the Kinnear Research Facility at 1314 Kinnear Road with an additional 7,565 square feet. This facility is located approximately 12 miles away from the Polaris facility on Ohio State's main campus and is equipped with backup generator accessibility during power outages.

Computers for sample receiving and accessioning, and two printers for sample labeling are available and are fully utilized. All computers are within The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center network and are secured behind the firewall with full internet access.

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