The review explores the field of biobanking as it has evolved from a simple collection of frozen specimens to the virtual biobank. Biorepository and biospecimen science has evolved in response to the changing landscape of external regulatory pressures, the advances made in the biological sciences, and the advent of the computer chip. Biospecimen banking is a growing enterprise crucial to health science research and other biological sciences. In this review we discuss the history of biobanking, highlight current and emerging issues, discuss demands and responses, and describe an example of a biobank, the University of California, San Francisco AIDS Specimen Bank that has functioned for 30 years.
Department of Orofacial Sciences and the AIDS Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
Correspondence to Yvonne De Souza, Department of Orofacial Sciences, UCSF, 513 Parnassus Ave., Box 0422, San Francisco, CA 94143-0422, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 22 October, 2012
Accepted 30 October, 2012