20 Dec 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: New analysis from Frost & Sullivan of global biobanking automation market, highlighted that the market earned revenues of $818 million in 2011 and is estimated this to reach $1.4 billion in 2018. The research covers automated liquid handling systems and robotics, automated compound storage and sample management systems, laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and consumables.
"New disease-based biobank projects in Europe and the US that focus on finding a cure for diseases, offer tremendous potential for automation," notes senior research analyst, Ms Divyaa Ravishankar. "As patient population samples surge, automated storage units have now been developed that improve biobanks' capacity to cater to a larger number of samples."
Automating certain procedures within the biobanking workflow offers biorepositories with vital technical and cost benefits. The prospects for greater automation within biobanks are being promoted by LIMS.
"Advances in LIMS have led to newer models such as virtual biobanks and centralized databank models that provide a platform for universities, biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms to collaborate," remarks Ms Ravishankar.
A key technological challenge at present stems from the fact that no two biobanks operate in a similar way. As a result, there can be no comparison of research results obtained from two different biobanks. The quality, extent and type of clinical information collected with the specimens also vary from one repository to another.