Commentary on improving biospecimen utilization by classic biobanks: Identifying past and minimizing future mistakes

Academic Article


  • Many classic biobanks collect more human tissues than they distribute, leading to increased inventories, unnecessary storage, increased expenses, and reduced chargeback income. This situation is a result of biobanks operating without well-defined goals, having incorrect views of the potential number of investigators who will utilize specimens, and collection of biospecimens without adequately considering the need for specific tissues by investigators. These deficiencies frequently lead to unrealistic plans for biospecimen utilization and biobanks that are larger than necessary. For example, tissue collections usually are not periodically compared with biospecimen distribution and modified accordingly. An ethical issue has arisen as to the acceptability of consenting patients for the use of their tissues in research without a realistic planned approach to distribution of the biospecimens and their ultimate utilization in supporting biomedical research. These issues and how to minimize them are discussed in this commentary focused on how classic biobanks can improve utilization of their biospecimens.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Grizzle WE; Sexton KC
  • Start Page

  • 243
  • End Page

  • 247
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 3