Expanded BioNet Capabilities Open Pathways for University Research

Published by CTSI on February 1, 2016

CTSI’s Biological Materials Procurement Network (BioNet), which is part of CTSI's Biorepository and Laboratory Services (BLS), recently installed new equipment and expanded its technicians’ certifications to continue to provide University researchers with the most current and comprehensive tissue procurement, histology and Immunohistochemistry, and digital imaging services available at the University. 

BioNet is an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved tissue procurement facility serving the University of Minnesota (ISO) and external researchers and businesses (ESO), and links early translational research, clinical medicine, pathology, and basic and applied research. BioNet staff help procure biospecimen samples such as solid tissue from tumors or other lesions, blood and urine samples, saliva, and ascites fluid from patients who have consented to have their tissue be used for research purposes. 

Expanding capabilities

BioNet biological safety cabinetBioNet recently installed a new Class II, Type A2 Biological Safety Cabinet in its surgical pathology room at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

A new Class II, Type A2 Biological Safety Cabinet was recently installed in BioNet’s east bank surgical pathology room in the University of Minnesota Medical Center to meet the more stringent requirements some research protocols require with regards to handling of specimens.

“The addition expands our capabilities for clean lab specimen procurement, handling and storage,” said Carla Heinke, MS, BioNet Manager. “We are responsive to the various and unique needs of University investigators across the Academic Health Center as well as industry researchers.”

In addition, BioNet’s four tissue procurement technicians recently completed the “Introduction to Biobanking” course through the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), which only recently launched this new course. 

“We completed nine online training modules totalling approximately 20 hours to achieve this new designation. I believe we are the only technicians on the Twin Cities campus who have completed this course and who can provide this extra level of quality and service to researchers,” said BioNet technician Beth Getzel.

This new equipment and training add to the impressive resources BioNet offers to researchers across the Academic Health Center and beyond. 

“Our training goes well beyond good clinical practice requirements,” Getzel said. “Researchers at the University who use BioNet know they are receiving tissue collection and biobanking services provided by licensed, certified and trained professionals.”

For more information about BioNet or its services, visit its website or contact Heinke or the technicians, even after hours via a pager, at 612-273-6680 or bionet@umn.edu.

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