Research

Biostorage

Freezers

The Biostorage Unit services offered by the ACRB can support the sample storage need of a large and diverse number of clients. Investigators can Contact Us to arrange rent storage space in the ACRB freezers.  


With over 2 million aliquots of human biospecimens housed in liquid nitrogen (-196°C), mechanical freezers (-80°C) and room temperature conditions, the Biostorage Unit maintains the operations necessary for servicing the needs of all clients: 1) logistics, 2) environmental monitoring, 3) inventory management,  4) security and risk management.

Logistics: The Biostorage Unit has developed the processes and quality systems to coordinate the continuous ascertainment of biospecimens from multiple collection sites and temporary storage conditions at hospitals and community collection labs in Edmonton and Calgary.

Environmental Monitoring: A system of environmental monitoring must be maintained to ensure the safety and integrity of the ACRB inventory. This includes facility maintenance/security, dangerous gas detection systems, biospecimen temperature monitoring, alarm response, contingency and disaster planning.

Inventory Management: Our comprehensive inventory management system is a critical component for the continued operation of the Biostorage Unit that contains over 2 million aliquots of biospecimens from a large number and variety of research program clients. In addition to managing the properties, ownership, embargos and physical storage locations of each biospecimen, the Biostorage Unit is responsible for tracking the temperature history of biospecimens (Cold Chain Custody), managing biospecimen derivative properties/locations (e.g. extracted nucleic acids from blood/saliva) and working with clients to withdraw biospecimens from the bank and ship them to their destinations.

Security and Risk Management: The ACRB is responsible for providing security and risk management support in the form of emergency and disaster management planning for all of our biostorage facilities. A remarkable example of the importance of this operation occurred in June of 2013 where extensive flooding in Calgary completely immersed the ACRB Holy Cross Centre biostorage facility in floodwaters. Thanks to effective disaster/contingency planning, well-documented environmental monitoring operating procedures and heroic staff efforts, not a single ACRB biospecimen was compromised as a result of the emergency situation.