Hamilton Storage and Hamilton Robotics have announced that they will build automated sample storage and liquid handling systems to be used in the biobank infrastructure for Mayo Clinic, which was awarded funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create the All of Us Research Program (formerly the Precision Medicine Initiative’s Cohort Program).
The automated sample storage systems include multiple Hamilton BiOS® systems, each of which can manage and store up to 8.7 million biological samples at -80 ˚C, and the Verso® system, used for high-throughput sample reformatting from standard tube racks to RackWare®, Hamilton Storage’s new consumable for high-density tube storage. For sample preparation, the biobank will use the easyBlood™, a Hamilton Robotics standard solution configured using the Microlab® STAR™ liquid handling workstation for blood fractionation and buffy coat transfer, integrated with the LabElite® DeCapper for automated tube decapping.
The state-of-the-art All of Us Research Program biobank will be the repository for biological samples collected from 1 million individuals in the United States. The highly automated biobank will ultimately store and curate more than 35 million biospecimens, which will be a resource for researchers working to advance precision medicine.
“We are excited to provide our core technology for the creation of one of the world’s largest research-cohort biobanks,” said Matt Hamilton, president of Hamilton Storage. “Being chosen as a key equipment partner for this national cohort program reflects the strength of our cutting-edge automation. Tracking and safeguarding these biospecimens so that they can be accessed by researchers will help advance precision medicine for future generations. The All of Us Research Program biobank sets a new benchmark in the industry for efficient processing and retrieval using automated sample preparation and storage systems.”
“Ensuring sample integrity and maintaining chain of custody on the samples were important factors in our selection of Hamilton systems, along with the ability to scale up to a very large number of samples,” said Mine Cicek, Ph.D. and Stephen Thibodeau, Ph.D., co-principal investigators of the All of Us Program Biobank award. “We believe the systems and processes we are establishing, with lessons learned by other large population biobanks, will create a new industry standard for biospecimen collection, processing and storage.”
President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative is a bold new research effort to revolutionize approaches to health and disease treatment. The Precision Medicine Initiative is a multi-agency effort that seeks to enable a new era of medicine through research, technology and policies that empower patients, researchers and providers to work together to develop individualized care. As one component of the broader Precision Medicine Initiative, the Research Program is a landmark longitudinal research effort that aims to engage 1 million or more U.S. participants to improve the ability to prevent and treat disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics.