Fatbank

The technological platform called “Biobancos-FATBANK” is a national reference centre as an adipose tissue biobank.

The first biological bank specialising in adipose tissue in Spain, located in Hospital Josep Trueta of Girona. This project, designed by CIBERobn, is structured as a technical translational research support unit and is coordinated by  Dr. José Manuel Fernández-Real.

Today, it is of the utmost importance to have a large number of biological samples available, such as tissues, serum, plasma, DNA or proteins, as well as the associated data, for advancement and development in biomedical research. Storing such a large number of samples from different groups and the increasingly closer collaboration between these groups has made it necessary to send samples to one another more often. All this means that strict control over these samples is required and standardizing methods to reduce variability between samples is desirable.

For this purpose the so-called biobanks have been created. Biobanks are non-profit public or private establishments that house a collection of biological samples associated with clinical information, conceived for diagnostic or biomedical research purposes and organised as a technical unit with criteria of excellence in quality and order, and intended to serve society in general and the scientific community in particular. Biobanks will soon be a basic tool in biomedical research, but to that end basic rules that must assure their efficacy must first be established. The purpose for which a biobank is created, regardless of whether it is a population biobank without any type of specialisation or a biobank specialising in a particular pathology, must be defined because the purpose for each type of biobank requires a different strategy.

Five points have been established to that end:

  • The preparation of rigorous Informed Consents according to Spanish Biomedical Research Law 14/2007 of 3 July, and Spanish Personal Data Protection Organic Law 15/1999 of 13 December.
  • Standardising procedures and protocols, assuring quality in obtaining, processing, preserving and storing samples, as well as correctly filling out questionnaires, all of which will be done as clinical information associated with the samples.
  • Assuring traceability of samples, acquiring the necessary infrastructure to that end and using unique coding methods.
  • Providing effective biobank and sample management systems, using computer applications created for such purpose.
  • Having specialised staff dedicated to the biobank and familiar with it.

After the biobank is started up and through its periodic maintenance, many benefits can be expected from it that help researchers in their jobs, that help patients in relation to early diagnosis and treatment of their diseases and that will ultimately help society in general by preventing diseases, identifying risk factors and creating wealth and knowledge.

The FatBank is a biobank specialising in collecting adipose tissue, associated samples and extensive clinical phenotyping for the study of diseases that are highly prevalent and found at an increasingly higher rate in society today, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and diseases associated with them. The FatBank carries out its daily activity in a rigorous manner, assuring the availability of samples guaranteeing reliable and quality results.