Copenhagen Hospital Biobank Unit

​​Many health care professionals in Denmark are involved in labour-intensive procedures aiming at collecting blood samples for research. This work is rather complicated if it is scattered, unsystematic and includes many manual procedures.



Copenhagen Hospital Biobank Unit at the Department of Clinical Immunology was established to facilitate easier and standardized access to samples for medical research, for example into hereditary factors in diseases. The Biobank Unit manages and stores samples for Copenhagen Hospital Biobank, the Danish Blood Donor Study and the Danish National Cancer Biobank. In addition, Copenhagen Hospital Biobank Unit acts as a core facility for automated sample management and DNA extraction.

Biobanks and how to get samples

Copenhagen Hospital Biobank
The Biobank stores EDTA whole blood from patient samples submitted for blood typing at hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark (the Greater Copenhagen Area). Sample collection was initiated in 2009. By 2013, more than 100,000 patient samples had been collected. Currently, 50,000 samples are collected annually. To obtain samples from the Biobank, a project must be approved by the local scientific ethics committee and the Data Protection Agency. In addition, a chief physician involved in the treatment of the patients included in the project must co-sign the application for sample release. Biobank staff can act as facilitators of contact between hospital staff and external researchers. For access to samples, please contact Copenhagen Hospital Biobank Unit staff at the email addresses above.

The Danish Blood Donor Study
The Danish Blood Donor Study (DBDS) is a nationwide cooperation between Danish blood banks. The study is using the blood bank infrastructure as a platform to invite research subjects, collect data, and establish a Biobank. By 2013, the study had included samples and questionnaire data from more than 80,000 blood donors and it is planned to make the DBDS the largest cohort of healthy subjects in Denmark. It is anticipated that a total of 100,000 donors will be included in the study by June 2014. The study will implements electronic questionnaires in early 2014, making it an ideal platform for collecting matched controls for disease-specific cohort studies. 

The DBDS is interested in scientific collaboration with research groups and students planning to conduct research in immunology, transfusion medicine, genetics, and epidemiology. Interested scientists can contact the steering board though the DBDS website (website indicated below).

Danish Cancer Biobank
The Biobank Unit acts as one of the contributors in a nationwide collaboration engaged in the collection of blood and tissue samples from Danish cancer patients. The Biobank Unit processes blood samples collected for the Danish Cancer Biobank at Copenhagen University Hospital. For access to samples, please contact Copenhagen Hospital Biobank Unit staff at email addresses indicated above.

Automated sample processing and DNA extraction
In addition to sample management for biobanks, the Biobank Unit also acts as a core facility in large-scale sample-management projects for interested scientists. Thus, the Biobank Unit operates several robots for automated sample pipetting and a Hamilton Chemagic STAR for large-scale DNA extraction at low cost.

Further information

Contact information

Erik Sørensen
Project manager

Henrik Ullum
Chief physician
Responsible editor