Performance in Omics Analyses of Blood Samples in Long-Term Storage: Opportunities for the Exploitation of Existing Biobanks in Environmental Health Research

Dennie G. A. J. Hebels, Panagiotis Georgiadis, Hector C. Keun, Toby J. Athersuch, Paolo Vineis, Roel Vermeulen, Lutzen Portengen, Ingvar A. Bergdahl, Goran Hallmans, Domenico Palli, Benedetta Bendinelli, Vittorio Krogh, Rosario Tumino, Carlotta Sacerdote, Salvatore Panico, Jos C. S. Kleinjans, Theo M. C. M. de Kok, Martyn T. Smith, Soterios A. Kyrtopoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The suitability for omic analysis of biosamples collected in previous decades and currently stored in biobanks is unknown. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the influence of handling and storage conditions of blood-derived biosamples on transcriptomic, epigenomic (CpG methylation), plasma metabolomic [ UPLC-ToFMS (ultra performance liquid chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry)], and wide-target proteomic profiles. METHODS: We collected fresh blood samples without RNA preservative in heparin, EDTA, or citrate and held them at room temperature for = 8 hr after collection, but no effects were due to storage temperature. None of the variables examined significantly influenced the epigenomic profiles. No systematic influence of time-in-storage was observed in samples stored over a period of 13-17 years. CONCLUSIONS: Most samples currently stored in biobanks are amenable to meaningful omics analysis, provided that they satisfy collection and storage criteria defined in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-487
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • biomarkers
  • epigenomics
  • metabolomics
  • metabonomics
  • molecular epidemiology
  • proteomics
  • transcriptomics

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