What is it? Why is it important?

Collection and storage containers are required biobanking material.


How to best COLLECT Biological Material (BM) depends on the:

  • Type of sample (e.g. tube for blood, swabs for saliva)
  • Sampling population (e.g. the use of children saliva swabs for children and infants)
  • Transport of sample and timing of analysis (e.g. ACD is preferred over EDTA if samples are shipped and processed the following day)
  • Planned sample processing (e.g. additives needed to extract / preserve tissue, cells or molecules, volume required to perform cell isolation)
  • Storage space (e.g. direct freezing of long saliva swabs or cryotubes filled with passive drool)
  • Planned downstream analysis (e.g. additives to stabilize the RNA molecule)


How to best STORE BM depends on the:

  • Type of sample (e.g. cryovials for liquid samples, cassettes for FFPE tissue)
  • Planned storage temperature (containers and labels must remain stable at low temperatures and during long term storage (e.g. non-porous plastic, LN2 compatible)
  • Planned downstream sample analysis (e.g., RNA samples stored frozen at −20 °C or −80 °C to prevent degradation)

What do I need to do?

Based on your planned study, select collection and storage containers (if separate from collection containers) that guarantee the required quality (e.g. stability of molecules) and stability (e.g. for long-term storage) of your Biological Material (BM).


The aim is to protect:

  • The environment, such as staff and donors (e.g. spillage and leak proof)
  • The preservation of the BM characteristics of interest


In multicentre studies, the material used to collect and store BM (e.g. tubes, containers, labels and solutions) should be standardized. This guarantees the comparable handling of BM including analytical results. Collection and storage containers can be prepared and shipped to sites in the form of ready-to-use kits.


In your study budget, include the costs for collection and storage containers, including shipment container costs.

Where can I get help?

Your local CTU can support you with experienced staff regarding this topic

The Swiss Biobanking Platform (SBP) can provide you with support on this topic.

SBP Documents

SOPs, Forms and Templates – see in particular

  • 7.2 Collection of biological material and associated data
  • 7.7 Storage of biological material
  • ACD – Acid Citric Dextrose
  • BM – Biological Material
  • EDTA – Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
  • FFPE – Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded
  • RNA – Ribonucleic Acid
  • SBP – Swiss Biobanking Platform
  • SOP – Standard Operating Procedures
Development ↦ Biobanking ↦ Biobank Set-Up ↦ Collection / Storage Containers

Provides some background knowledge and basic definitions

Basic Monitoring
Basic Drug or Device

Starts with a study idea

Ends after having assessed and evaluated study feasibility

Concept Drug or Device

Starts with confidence that the study is feasible

Ends after having received ethics and regulatory approval

Development Drug or Device

Starts with ethics and regulatory approval

Ends after successful study initiation

Set-Up Ethics and Laws
Set-Up Quality and Risk
Set-Up Drug or Device

Starts with participant recruitment

Ends after the last participant has completed the last study visit

Conduct Drug or Device

Starts with last study visit completed

Ends after study publication and archiving

Completion Statistics
Completion Drug or Device
Current Path (click to copy): Development ↦ Biobanking ↦ Biobank Set-Up ↦ Collection / Storage Containers

Please note: the Easy-GCS tool is currently under construction.