Biobanking at the Department of Pathology, OUS

Human biological material (organs, parts of organs, cells and tissues and constituents of such material from living and dead individuals), which are stored in connection with diagnostics, treatment, and research, are included in various types of biobanks. A diagnostic biobank is human biological material that has been collected and stored for diagnostic purposes, whereas a research biobank is a collection of human biological material used or intended for research purposes.

The Department of Pathology plays a central role in biobanking activities at Oslo University Hospital and is responsible for safeguarding both diagnostic and research biobanks, establishing guidelines to ensure biobank quality, and facilitating access to the diagnostic biobank for research purposes.

The Department of Pathology processes circa 115,000 patient samples annually at its three Oslo locations: Radiumhospitalet: OCCI-building; Rikshospitalet: Building A2/M-floor; Ullevål hospital: Building 25 (Laboratory Building). The samples come from tissue biopsies (surgical and non-surgical), exfoliative cytology, aspirates, and puncture cytology. The Department’s diagnostic biobank consists of gynecological/breast/urogenital, gastrointestinal/liver/pancreas, skin/eye, heart/lung/kidney, neurological, hematological, and ear/nose/throat samples. Patient material is examined and evaluated, and all or part of the material is submitted for further diagnostic examination, which can be cytological (cell material placed on glass slides), histological (selected material embedded in paraffin blocks), or from autopsies (selected material embedded in paraffin blocks). These paraffin blocks and associated tissue sections are included in the department's diagnostic biobank. The department produces 70,000 to 80,000 paraffin blocks per year, and circa 125,000 associated tissue sections (glass slides) per year.

Unfixed fresh-frozen tissue samples, blood samples, serum, and fine-needle aspirates processed and stored by the department are also part of the diagnostic biobank.

Storage of any residual material follows approved routines for each sample type and location. Human biological material stored for more than 2 months is included in the diagnostic biobank. Biological materials not included in the diagnostic biobank are destroyed according to hospital guidelines and routines.

The biobank coordinator for the Department of pathology at OUS is senior scientist Paula De Angelis; email: or