A review of room temperature storage of biospecimen tissue and nucleic acids for anatomic pathology laboratories and biorepositories.

TitleA review of room temperature storage of biospecimen tissue and nucleic acids for anatomic pathology laboratories and biorepositories.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLou, JJ, Mirsadraei, L, Sanchez, DE, Wilson, RW, Shabihkhani, M, Lucey, GM, Wei, B, Singer, EJ, Mareninov, S, Yong, WH
JournalClin Biochem
Date Published2014 Mar
KeywordsBiological Specimen Banks, Biomedical Research, External, Fixatives, Freeze Drying, Humans, Paraffin Embedding, Protein Stability, Quality Control, RNA Stability, Specimen Handling, Temperature, Time Factors, Tissue Preservation

UNLABELLED: Frozen biospecimens are crucial for translational research and contain well-preserved nucleic acids and protein. However, the risks of freezer failure as well as space, cost, and environmental concerns of frozen biospecimens are substantial.OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to review the current status of room temperature biospecimen storage.METHODS: We searched Pubmed and vendor websites to identify relevant information.RESULTS: Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues have great value but their use is limited by cross-linking and fragmentation of nucleic acids, as well as loss of enzymatic activity. Stabilization solutions can now robustly preserve fresh tissue for up to 7days at room temperature. For longer term storage, commercial vendors of chemical matrices claim real time stability of nucleic acids of over 2 years and their accelerated aging studies to date suggest stability for 12years for RNA and 60years for DNA. However, anatomic pathology biorepositories store mostly frozen tissue rather than nucleic acids. Small quantities of tissue can be directly placed on some chemical matrices to stabilize DNA, however RNA and proteins are not preserved. Current lyophilization approaches can preserve histomorphology, DNA, RNA, and proteins though RNA shows moderate degradation after 1-2years. Formalin-free fixatives show improved but varying abilities to preserve nucleic acids and face validation as well as cost barriers in replacing FFPE specimens. The paraffin embedding process can degrade RNA.CONCLUSION: Development of robust long-term room temperature biospecimen tissue storage technology can potentially reduce costs for the biomedical community in the face of growing targeted therapy needs and decreasing budgets.

Alternate JournalClin Biochem
PubMed ID24362270
PubMed Central IDPMC3976177
Grant ListP50 AG016570 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 MH083500 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
U24 MH100929 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
P50 AG016570-11A / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States