Karina Meden Sørensen



Karina Meden Sørensen


Title of Presentation

“Presentation of the sample flow in the Danish National Biobank and related practical issues”


Date and Place

Session A2


Speaker Biography

Karina Meden Sørensen is currently Section Leader and Laboratory Manager of the Danish National Biobank at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen. She earned her Master’s degree in Biochemistry in 2004 and PhD in molecular genetics in 2009, both from the University of Copenhagen. The following years Karina was engaged in a research position at Statens Serum Institut, developing methods for DNA extraction from filter paper blood spots and detection of copy number variation using the minimal amount of DNA attained from the blood spots. Involved in blood sample management, Karina was asked to be part of the team initiating the Danish National Biobank in November 2010. Since then, Karina has been involved in building the biobank storage and laboratory facilities, establishing a team of laboratory technicians, functioning as a key person between diagnostic laboratories, research scientists and the biobank. Futhermore, she has set up working procedures for optimal sample flow and coordinated the task of unpacking and registering historical biological material and transfer it to new tube formats and storage facilities.



The main purpose of the Danish National Biobank is to give scientists from Denmark and abroad an overview of and access to biological samples in Danish biobanks. Currently, the initiative reaches more than 22 million biological samples from 5.4 million Danes. The biobank receives approximately 1500 primary tubes every day. These samples are aliquoted into around 3800 smaller 2D barcoded biobank tubes, and subsequently stored in automated freezers. In this talk, I will present the highly automated processes that underlie this sample flow; how buffy coat fractions are aliquoted on a liquid handler using pressure sensing, and how all data is automatically logged into the biobank IT system. Despite of the state-of-the-art sample- and dataflow, we experience a practical issue that creates a bottleneck effect. The 1500 ingoing samples need to be decapped, and for the moment, we use a small decapping device handling only 24 samples at a time. Furthermore, we manually need to move the samples from rack to rack up to 3 times. We find that the size of the sample flow puts the biobank between smaller lab units where the 24-tube decapper is suitable, and large scale hospitals, that have automated decapping- and sorting units integrated into the conveyer belt of their diagnostic departments. We have not found a solution that satisfies our needs, and we would like to ask the experts and the audience if they have any good experiences.