Biorepository Platform

OnCore Specimen Repository

The WSU BioBank was established to support clinical and translational research locally, nationally, and internationally by storing sample collections of diverse type from research studies. Samples are shipped or carried to the BioBank from the collection sites for research at WSU, distribution to other collaborating centers or/and for long-term storage.

Process synopsis -The repository personnel will receive an email notification that samples will be transported to the BioBank for storage. Samples that are not shipped from outside of WSU, but transported by staff of WSU, DMC and its affiliates to the BioBank must be done by appropriately trained staff that have completed their packaging and shipping certification and carried in appropriate packaging.

All samples received by the BioBank are examined, and documentation accompanying the package/samples reviewed. The samples are placed immediately in a temporary appropriate temperature storage unit while reviewing the shipment inventory.  The sender of the samples receives email notification that the samples have arrived and is notified of any problems that may have occurred during transportation. Package content will be checked for concordance between the samples received and the inventory list provided. Any discordance is reported within 24 hours. Each sample receives a bar code label and the sample is scanned into the OnCore BioSpecimen Module (BSM). Data specific to the sample is stored under this bar code designation in OnCore. The OnCore BSM system is set-up to allow specimens to be cataloged into the appropriate freezer, shelf, box, and cell unit. Samples are stored for the designated time allotted by the specific protocol in any of the 6 -80 ºC freezers in the BioBank.

The OnCore BSM system allows the appropriate personnel to submit a request for certain samples to be removed from the BioBank.  When the BioBank staff receives the notification of the request, the PI is notified. BioBank staff verify that the samples are available for request. The request includes which samples are being requested and the date they are needed. The PI and the BioBank staff must both approve the request. When the request has been approved, the samples are pulled from the storage unit by the BioBank staff and placed in temporary storage to be scanned as being removed. Samples are packaged appropriately by the BioBank staff for transportation and an inventory slip generated by the OnCore BioBank system. A Bill of Lading is generated as to who received the samples and where the samples are going. OnCore BioBank system will automatically open the storage unit spots as being available after the samples are marked as being "shipped". The software tracks when assays are complete and also houses data specific to patients once samples are analyzed.

Michigan Neonatal Biobank

The Michigan Biotrust for Health was established to make the Michigan Department of Community Health's archive of dried blood spots available for approved research. The Michigan Neonatal Biobank (MNB) ( is a storage and management facility for the archive of dried blood spot cards and managed by the the Office of the Vice President for Research. The Biobank's roots are planted in the State's Newborn Screening Program, which began in 1965 in the Department of Community Health. MNB is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization and is contracted to serve as the repository for storage and management of the samples.

Newborn screening is a public health program required by Michigan law to find babies with rare but serious disorders that require early treatment. A few drops of blood taken from the baby's heel are sent to the State Public Health Laboratory and are tested for 49 disorders. Each year more than 200 Michigan babies are found to have a disorder detected by Newborn Screening and it is estimated that the program has saved the lives of 4,000 Michigan babies. After newborn screening is completed, there is typically residual dried blood spot samples that are no longer needed for testing. These spots are each assigned a unique code, which assures anonymity for the sample and its donor. The samples are then sent for storage in the MNB.

The dried blood spots can be used for studies on genetic and chronic diseases, genomics and infectious disease, and for prevalence studies. For approved research studies the samples can also be linked by the Michigan Department of Community Health to newborn screening results and statewide public health laboratories making it possible to request samples that are associated with a known health outcome.

More than 160 different analytes or polymorphisms are cited in literature as having been measured from dried blood spot specimens for epidemiological studies. The list includes not only biological markers such as DNA, but also infectious agents and potential environmental contaminants such as heavy metals. And new nanotechnologies make it possible to measure thousands of genes, gene transcripts, proteins, metabolites, infectious agents, drugs, and toxins from small samples when they are stored under optimal conditions.

Specimen Archive- The MNB samples are stored in a temperature controlled facility at Wayne State University's TechTown facility immediately adjacent to IBio.  The MNB is directed by Antonio Yancey, Ph.D.. A Board of Directors provides oversight and is composed of appointed representatives from each of the institutions that collaborated to the MNB: Michigan Department of Community Health, Wayne State University, Michigan State University, the Van Andel Institute, and the University of Michigan.

Inventory - ~4 Million newborn dried blood samples

Equipment - seven (7) -20° freezers; one (1) -20° walk in freezer

Database and tracking system method - The MNB utilizes the Van Andel laboratory inventory database system. Each sample has a digital photograph taken at first entry into the database, and each time a sample is taken. In addition to demographic data and test results our samples can be linked to Michigan's public health registries making it possible to request specimens that are associated with a known health outcome.

Dr. Antonio E. Yancey serves as the current director for management of the MNB.

Contact Information:

Dr. Antonio E. Yancey
Assistant Vice President
Research Administrative Operations
Building Manager - Integrative Biosciences Center (IBio)
Director - Michigan Neonatal Biobank
Office: (313) 577-1411
Fax: (313) 972-8027