Bio Screening Facility

Case Studies

Case Study 1

Sample processing for the StemBANCC 5 year programme funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme:

  • Work Package 2 is tasked with robustly identifying, recruiting, clinically phenotyping and collecting tissue samples from subjects with defined disease and adverse drug responses as well as healthy controls.
  • A research team in CARU is involved on this multi-centre recruiting process.

Once participants are identified and recruited, the blood samples need to follow a standardized processing protocol prior to biobanking.

  • The clinical team approaches the Biomarkers lab regarding the implementation of this protocol.
  • The Biomarkers lab takes over:

- Coordination with the biobanking lab on the fine details of: sampling, blood tubes required, standardized reagents and cell isolation protocol.

- Cost associated and budget distribution.

- Coordination with nurses in CARU regarding timing of the sampling, labelling of blood tubes and tracking documentation.

- Samples are collected by the Biomarkers team from the CARU nurse to the lab for immediate processing of blood and cell isolation.

- Cryopreservation, storage and final shipping to the biobanking lab.

Case Study 2

Translation of biomarkers from Ageing research onto other Clinical Research Areas:


  • Biomarker lab is approached for its expertise on measuring inflammatory markers in humans to apply those biomarkers in the context of Pre-eclampsia and develop new ones (Myeloperoxidase).


  • The Biomarkers lab:

- Assess IL-6 and TNA-alpha in plasma samples (N=190).

- Test 3 possible sources of material for the measurement of Myeloperoxidase

- Develop a Myeloperoxidase assay.

- Up-scale and increase the sensitivity of the method:

           Higher throughput

           Higher reproducibility

           Minimal plate-to-plate variation

                Capability to detect Myeloperoxidase in younger individuals

Case Study 3

Translation of biomarkers from humans to birds in collaboration with a Behavioural Scientist

  • Biomarker lab is approached for its expertise on measuring telomeres in humans on whether we could also do it in birds.
  • The Biomarkers lab:

- Establishes the type and amount of sample required and works out on test samples an efficient and reliable method to isolate the DNA from bird blood.

- Develops and improves a previously reported method on bird telomeres.

- Isolate DNA and assess telomere length at a large scale (N~600 samples)


  • Biomarker lab is approached for its expertise on measuring inflammatory markers in humans on whether this could be done in the very small amount of material available from a large bird plasma sample collection.
  • The Biomarkers lab:

- Develops and validates the measurement of IL-6 in plasma from birds.

- Develops and validates the measurement of TNF-alpha on the same plasma sample.

- Measures both IL-6 and TNF-alpha on the whole collection (N>120 samples)

- Contributes to manuscript final publication all the way from writing up the methods to replies to reviewers.


  • Biomarker lab is approached for its expertise on genotyping regarding the possibility of using genomic methods for the sexing of the birds.
  • The Biomarkers Lab:

- Tests 3 different methods from previous publications on the genomic sexing of these birds.

- Develops and validate a method adapted from the previous ones.

- Evaluate the gender on a large collection of bird DNA samples (N~400)