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Improving the quality of biomedical research samples

Improving the quality of biomedical research samples

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IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) announces the launch of Findmyassay.com, a new online tool allowing scientists to check the quality of their biological samples and improve the reproducibility of their biomedical research.

The success of biomedical research is closely linked to the quality of the underlying biological samples (tissues, blood, urine, etc.). The use of inadequate specimens may lead to results that are unreliable and irreproducible. This can in turn affect the translation of the findings of such studies into clinical practice. Tests allowing scientists to assess the quality of their clinical biospecimens are therefore a crucial component of biomedical research. Multiple quality control (QC) assays are available to guarantee the suitability of biological samples for the intended research purposes. However, their use is still not sufficiently widespread in the research community. Moreover, there are currently no dedicated tools that indicate the most appropriate QC assay to be used when working with a given biospecimen type in the context of a certain downstream application. IBBL conceived and launched Findmyassay.com with this specific need in mind, thus putting its expertise to the benefit of the international research community.

Findmyassay.com is a free, simple and user-friendly web-based application that guides the user along the identification and selection of the most relevant QC assay through a series of questions and answers. Researchers can follow a few easy steps to input the origin, type and sub-type of their samples – such as fluid biospecimens, nucleic acids, cells or tissue. The tool subsequently provides a clear suggestion of the most suitable assays. Findmyassay.com therefore accompanies researchers in the process of verifying the fitness-for-purpose of their samples for research use, thus contributing to improving the quality of their results. This, in turn, increases the chances of successfully translating research findings into medical practice and meaningful health outcomes.

“The main goal of our tool is to make researchers – not just in biobanking, but also in all other domains of biomedical research – aware of the available QC assays and encourage their use”, explains Dr. Fay Betsou, Chief Scientific Officer at IBBL. There is still considerable work to be done to raise awareness on the importance of quality control in relation to activities such as biomarker discovery and validation and, consequently, personalized medicine. We are hopeful that Findmyassay.com will prove to be a useful tool for researchers and, ultimately, for patients”.

Findmyassay.com can be accessed through the dedicated webpage www.findmyassay.com. It was inspired by a technical report by the ISBER Biospecimen Science Working Group.

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