An Interview with Central Biobank MUMC+ on 2D coded tubes LVL-technologies
An Interview with Central Biobank MUMC+ on 2D coded tubes (LVL-technologies)

Written by Sebastiaan HorstSales Representative Benelux

Breda, 8 March 2023
MUMC+ BioBank is an initiative of the Maastricht University and the Academic Hospital Maastricht (AZM). There is a close collaboration with MAASTRO clinic (the Radiotherapeutic Institute of Limburg) and since 2007 with the Parelsnoer Institute. Parelsnoer offers researchers an infrastructure and up-to-date standard procedures for setting up, expanding and optimizing clinical biobanks for scientific research.

Since January 2005, Biobank MUMC+ has been a Central Research Facility (COV). This central infrastructure can be used to benefit researchers because a number of standard procedures can be carried out by the BioBank employees. The data storage of the Biobank is fully automated in the web-based BioBank Information System, which was completely renewed in 2012.

MUMC+ is the first customer and biobank in the Netherlands to use LVL-technologies’ new generation of products. The BioBank transitioned into using 2D coded tubes instead of cryotubes / other tubes with labels due to numerous of benefits.

Read all about the advantages of 2D coded tubes and the difficulties associated with their implantation in our interview with MUMC+ BioBank below.

Making the switch
It was a well-considered and obvious choice for MUMC+ to switch to 2D coded tubes. “The tubes bring the biobank more sustainability and increases storage capacity in our freezers. There is also a big difference in quality compared to the previously used tubes. The barcodes are more durable and readable than labels in the long run. The screwcaps of the 2D coded tubes close more thoroughly than our current tubes. The new rack and new tubes are more user-friendly especially when handled in high quantities.”

Although making the switch was an obvious choice, it was also a challenge to implement the 2D coded tubes and equipment. “Linking our current software set-up towards the use of 2D barcoded tubes and adjusting our workflow on the work floor was a challenging, but successful adjustment within our organisation”.  

After the implementation process, it was time to start working with the tubes. “The personnel had their doubts using the tubes, due to the fact they are smaller than the usual Cryotubes. After hands-on experience with the tubes there was nearly any resistance.” 

Working with 2D products brings the MUMC+ BioBank many benefits. Therefore they recommend other biobanks that are not working with 2D products yet to make the switch as well.“To make the switch you have to start small. Create a foundation of one product and then develop it further from there”.  

The BioBank considers the support from their supplying company to be very important. “Brainstorming together to get a solution for an existing problem is very helpful. The flexibility in how to solve these problems is very important. In addition any feedback we as an organisation provide is being picked up.”   

The future
There are challenges within the current economic climate that biobanks have to face. What is MUMC+’ view on the future of biobanking? “The current economic climate forces us even more to focus on durability and energy consumption. Introducing durable and sustainable products is a must. Considering biobanks are for long-term storage this affects us immensely.”