Biobanking is a very heterogeneous activity. Although a global definition is desirable, more than specific definitions are necessary depending on the type of biobank activity. In any case biobank activity should be always framed by the unique final goal: PUBLIC SERVICE.
Referring to human samples biobanking oriented to biomedical research, our activity is mediated by a fourfold commitment: social, ethical, technical, and scientific. Social commitment refers to the promotion of knowledge (basic science) and health (translational/applied research). The ethical commitment refers to the guarantee of donors’ rights and the chain of custody of samples and personal data to be protected. Due to these two commitments, biobanks are obliged to use the most suitable methodology in order to ensure the highest quality of service, this being their technical commitment. Finally, biobanking should be directly linked to scientific challenges, interests, and advances.
Today’s biomedical research of excellence is mainly seen as a global phenomenon around the study of large series of samples organized with well-defined and detailed criteria regarding the identification of patients, with the specific information required in each case. This justifies the growing interest in developing cooperative networks of biobanks to minimize biases arising from heterogeneity in the quality of biological samples by means of protocols for procedures, development of common quality assurance policies, and promotion of collaborative environments.
This lecture will try to present the Spanish vision and experience on biobank networking especially focusing on the value of attitudes, associated nodes and cooperative dimension.