In 2020, the Helsinki Biobank acquired more than 19,000 new B-Bio-0 samples, on average about 70 samples every weekday.
As of the beginning of 2016, we have acquired more than 100,000 samples. Our archive of tissue samples preserved in paraffin contains samples from nearly 700,000 individuals.
In 2020, we collected more than 1,100 fresh tissue samples in collaboration with the HUSLAB pathology laboratories. In all, we have accumulated more than 5,600 fresh tissue samples over the past five years. We continued to collect fluid biopsy samples (cell-free DNA samples) from cancer patients at the time of the recent sample collection, having begun in 2018, and by the end of 2020 more than 3,600 fluid biopsy samples had been collected. During the year under review, we launched several targeted sample collecting projects with research groups.
In December 2020, we published an invitation to tender for an automated -80°C sample storage system. This system will further improve the quality of biobank samples and make it quicker to collect them.
We transferred our training online in 2020 and arranged the sessions via Teams. Support was provided to units particularly in the development of biobank processes. There were 138 orientation and training sessions during the year, and 17 training sessions and events for patient organizations. We added training and collecting resources to the Neurocenter and to neurological patient organizations, which had the effect of increasing samples from neurological patients by 20%.