The BiSC biobank stores more than 68,000 aliquots of biological samples


At BiSC we have biological samples of different types, collected from the mother’s pregnancy up to 18 months. On the one hand, we collected samples of urine, blood, hair, vaginal swab, rectal smears and nails from the mothers. From the blood samples we obtained different derivatives: serum, plasma, buffy coat and red cells. The buffy coat, for instance, have served us to extract DNA.

On the other hand, we collected umbilical cord blood, placenta, cord tissue, urine, stools and nails from the baby. From the cord blood samples we obtained different derivatives, and from the placenta we obtained DNA and RNA. Some of them, such as stools and urine, have been collected several times in different visits.

All this means that in the BiSC cohort we have about 68,000 aliquots of biological samples registered! These are stored at room temperature (hair and nails) or at -80C, either in the ISGlobal biobank or in the biobanks of the study hospitals (Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Hospital Sant Pau). A BiSC laboratory technician is dedicated exclusively to sample management: processing, inventory, sample preparation for studies, among other tasks.

Currently, some of the uses we are giving the samples are:

  • Mother’s blood samples from the 32-week visit and cord blood samples from the baby: used to genotype (obtain DNA) the BiSC cohort.
  • Mother’s red blood cells from the 32-week visit: to analyze polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Baby stool of 6 and 18 months: to analyze short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
  • Vaginal smear and stool of a 6-month-old baby: to study resistance to antibiotics.
  • Urine of the mother at 32 weeks: for hormone analysis.


Finally, thank you for your patience and willingness to participate in the study. Without you this would not be possible!


This news has been written by Alvaro Falcón, laboratory technician of the BiSC Project.