CEE's most modern biobank under development at SZTE

Science

Image by István Sahin-Tóth (SZTE NKI)

The University of Szeged's (SZTE) Biobank development has reached another major milestone, with the beginning of the assembly of a world-leading robotic biobank sample storage system, which will allow the storage of millions of biological samples, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

With the help of an international team of engineers, a world-leading Liconic robotic sample storage system weighing several tonnes is now under assembly at the SZTE. The complex device, worth nearly HUF 3 billion, will be capable of storing and rapidly identifying millions of biological samples, which will be essential for personalized diagnostics and therapy.

Dr. Judit Fendler, chancellor of the University of Szeged, stressed that the development represents a qualitative leap in clinical (mainly oncological and neuroscientific) and genetic research using human biological samples, which will further strengthen the position of SZTE in the international and domestic scientific community.
 
In the wake of the difficulties caused by the coronavirus epidemic, SZTE has redesigned the ongoing construction and added another significant innovation to the biobank's capacity.  Dr. Zoltán Veréb, head of the Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Pharmacology of the Department of Dermatology and Allergology, SZTE SZAKK, said that 2 BSL-2 laboratories, which can store samples of coronavirus-infected patients, were placed in the biobank.
 
The laboratories will also greatly facilitate the processing and biobanking of samples from patients with other virological diseases, thus facilitating the rapid identification of infections. The development, unique in the region, will also support and enhance the diagnostic capacity of the university. The retrievable and valuable sample pool will be of significant help for biomedical research and provide a basis for biomarker or drug discovery.
 
The biobank has also received special freezers capable of cooling to minus 80 degrees Celsius, which will also increase the facility's capacity. They will also help the university's epidemiological protection, as the SZTE is involved in several research collaborations that require biobank samples from patients who have undergone the COVID-19 infection.
 
In addition to the technical, building services, and special security systems of the 260 sqm building in the Southern Clinical Park of the Albert Szent-Györgyi Clinical Center of the University of Szeged, the development of the IT network has also started.

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