West German Biobank Essen (WBE)

The Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen operates the Westdeutsche Biobank Essen (WBE) as the central biobank. In principle, biobanks store a wide variety of biomaterials (tissue, blood, etc.). The WBE currently stores 120,000 samples and corresponding data, the majority of which originate from transplantation research and thoracic surgery at the Ruhrklinik and general surgery at the UK Essen.

An essential factor for an efficient biobank is its networking capability with other biobanks for sample and data exchange. This requires the use of suitable IT equipment. Since September 2015, WBE has been using the CentraXX-Biobank (CBB) system IT solution from KAIROS as a productive biobank solution. By using CentraXX, a direct connection to the network of the German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK), which also uses this software solution, can be achieved directly. The University Hospital Essen, together with its cooperation partner – the University Hospital Düsseldorf – is the partner location of the DKTK. The goal of the DTKT is to create optimal conditions for innovative tumor research within Germany through networks like this one. CentraXX directly supports further automation and thus quality optimisation of the WBE by connecting the liquid handling platform (Tecan) and the ultra-low temperature warehouse (Liconic).

The expansion of the further digitalization (slide scanning and image analysis) and the expansion of the service portfolio (nucleic acid preparation, TMA creation) of the biobank can also be taken into account, especially in the area of digital pathology. In addition to the actual core activities in the area of sample and data management, WBE, which sees itself as a Healthcare-Integrated Biobank (HIB), provides its users with CentraXX, a powerful and intuitive tool for (clinical) study management. Its use as a productive system was preceded by a proof-of-concept in which the accuracy of fit into the existing IT infrastructure could be tested in detail. Current innovative projects, which are supervised by the WBE, deal with HIV research, derma-oncological questions or are in the area of lung cancer research.

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