The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Pediatric Biorepository has capacity to store and environmentally monitor across the entire spectrum of storage conditions – ambient, refrigerated, frozen and ultra-cold – in both conventional or automated freezer locations. All storage equipment is physically secured, monitored 24/7 using third party and NIST certified data loggers and maintained under careful conditions to ensure biospecimen quality. The Biorepository maintains contingency response plans in case of individual equipment failure or widespread disaster. Loss of power or functionality is mitigated by the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital auxiliary power and liquid nitrogen reserves.
The biorepository offers dynamic processing services configurable to study requirements within recommended best practices:
- Study Design Consulting
- Tissue Procurement, Allocation & Quality Control
- Kit Building
- Automated DNA Extraction
- Automated RNA Extraction
- Nucleic Acid Quality Control
- Sample Distribution
Automated Ultra-Cold Aliquot Storage
Automated “sample access management” freezers (SAMs) are in place to provide specimens with ultra-low storage temperatures (-80°C) and robotic sample movement and inventory monitoring. Each of the SAMs at has capacity to hold 30,000 specimens. Sample access is simple with “cherry-picking” of thousands of samples achievable in a short time. Seamless integration between the SAM and StarLims databases ensures integrity of data. This storage option is ideal for aliquots of sera, plasma, saliva, & DNA/RNA that have been prospectively cryopreserved in 1.4 ml barcoded Micronics vials (offered in participant sampling kits).
Non-Automated Ultra-Cold Aliquot Storage
Non-automated sample management freezers are in also place to provide specimens with ultra-low storage temperatures (-80°C). Each of these deep chest freezers (-80°C ) can hold up to 40,000 specimens. This storage option is ideal for aliquots of sera, plasma, saliva, & DNA/RNA that have not been cryopreserved in 1.4 ml barcoded Micronics vials.
Nitrogen Vapor Storage
Liquid nitrogen freezers are in place for specimens requiring storage at or below -150oC. Nitrogen vapor ensures that temperatures are maintained below -150oC without the chance of nitrogen contamination. This Biorepository storage solution accommodates cryovials with a volume of 2ml or less.
Nucleic Acid Isolation
Isolation of nucleic acids from blood, saliva, solid tissue, and other fluids is accomplished using the Hamilton Chemagic STAR liquid handling automation and robotic magnetic bead extraction technology. Dedicated instruments are in place for both DNA and RNA isolation of up to 96 samples simultaneously. The technology is based on extraction with magnetic beads that results a high yield of ultrapure nucleic acids. The integrated system has flexibility to be used for sample volumes from 20 µl up to 10 ml. The Chemagic STAR is integrated with the StarLIMS database for seamless data management.