Thursday, 12 May 2022 11:17

A Guide to Biological Sample Management

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Proper biological sample management is integral to the accuracy and applicability of scientific studies, particularly in clinical trials. From the tools and instruments used to conduct the process as well as how the procedures are performed themselves, many interconnected factors can simplify biological sample management.

This blog post will provide a comprehensive and concise overview of the biological sample management process, focusing on selecting the right tools – specimen tubes, tube pickers, and software – to perform it effectively and achieve accurate test results.

Reviewing the Biological Sample Management Process

Meticulously managing biological samples for their entire lifespan is a critical and careful set of procedures1. The biological sample management process begins with an accurate description of protocols the scientific research team will follow from collection to disposal of samples, including the type and amount of samples collected and the conditions under which they will be stored, transported, studied, and disposed of.

Throughout the entire biological sample management process, a record of who handles the samples and their various short and long term storage locations and conditions throughout the study are required via physical paper or digital channels known as laboratory information management systems.

Finally, biological sample disposal is to be detailed in these records as well1. All these steps ensure sample integrity. Thus, the biological sample management process relies heavily on organisation, attention to detail, and clear communication of every effort to be considered reliable and usable for sound research.

Selecting the Right Tools for Biological Sample Management

The right instruments make biological sample management more straightforward and less prone to error. When conducting biological sample management, some considerations are customised systems to best cater to unique research questions and laboratory environments and the ease of data collection and input2. For example, automating labelling biological specimen tubes increases the speed and ease of sample tracking. It avoids compromised samples from labels that have fallen off or been damaged due to runny pen ink or rips3. These can be avoided completely by using tubes with a 2D Datamatrix barcode laser etched onto the base – a preferred method when tracking and storing biological sample tubes. The2D barcode is directly linked to the specimen information in a database or LIMS and can be easily read using 2D barcoded tube rack readers, for example, from Ziath.

Some essential selections for efficient sample management include the types of tubes used to collect and store samples, tube pickers, and the software. Selecting suitable tubes for sample study is crucial as they need to be compatible with caps to avoid any sample leakages, spills, or contamination.

Tube picking is also crucial to ensure the correct samples are being chosen and analysed. Also, software is a valuable tool to help guide researchers through the picking process and provide progress reports4. Other types of software can help with overall sample management and easy data input capabilities, customised labelling, and robust tracking and searching tools5.

Biological Sample Management with Ziath

Ziath is a leading life sciences company built by experts in biological sample management. At Ziath, biological sample management solutions are developed and designed to address challenges in laboratory settings and streamline research workflows. This selection of innovative products boosts efficiency and productivity in workplaces, including academia, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies.

Our equipment and software embrace advanced and flexible technology with a client-focused design to perform actions such as barcode scanning and tube selection. If you would like to learn more about our biological sample management products and services, please reach out to our team of scientists and engineers, and they would be happy to help you.

References:

  1. Redrup, M. J., Igarashi, H., Schaefgen, J., Lin, J., Geisler, L., Ben M’Barek, M., Ramachandran, S., Cardoso, T., & Hillewaert, V. (2016). Sample Management: Recommendation for Best Practices and Harmonization from the Global Bioanalysis Consortium Harmonization Team. The AAPS Journal18(2), 290–293. https://doi.org/10.1208/s12248-016-9869-2
  2. (2021, July 6). Ziath - Top Tips for Biological Specimen Tube Selection & Labelling. Ziath.com; Ziath. https://ziath.com/blog/item/41-top-tips-biological-specimen-tube-selection-labelling

 

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