A biobank is a public or private nonprofit structure, which stores a collection of biological samples, designed for biomedical research. It is a strategic tool for the development of clinical and translational research. Biobanks allow the study of various diseases with serious impact on health and open doors to the identification of new diagnostic and prognostic tests, and new therapeutic targets.


The use of biobanks in biomedical research results into advantages in terms of reliability, speed and efficiency of the results. Biobanks allow the recruitment of large and clearly defined populations in a short period of time for large epidemiological studies.

Biobank based research requires:

  • Wide variety of population samples, including healthy donors.
  • Donors affected by several diseases and clinically well characterized.
  • A system for managing samples and clinical information.


The Biobanco-IMM

The Biobanco-IMM is a resource created to foster biomedical research, offering the most current software for management of samples and clinical information, adapted according to the identified needs.


As such, it is accessible to all researchers, and all types of clinical research of public interest. All applications from researchers, research institutions or industry, Portuguese or foreign, are subject to the same selection criteria and evaluation.


The Biobanco-IMM is authorized by the Ethics Commission of the Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte – Hospital de Santa Maria to collect and store biological samples for research purposes. The clinical database is authorized by the National Commission for Data Protection. The Biobanco-IMM is undergoing certification together with IMM.


The Biobanco-IMM actively promotes the establishment of protocols and consortia in order to enrich their collections in order to establish itself as a structure of national and international reference.



The Biobanco-IMM collaborates with several organizations and health departments of biomedical research. It is partner of the BioBanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI).



  • Collect a wide variety of human biological samples associated with relevant clinical information of high quality.
  • Promote the use of a sample management system based on scientific and ethical criteria.
  • Ensure high-quality stored samples using tests developed according to international recommendations.


Biobanco-IMM services

The biobank-IMM provides specific services to researchers.



  •  -80ºC storage
  • Liquid nitrogen containers
  • Storage of paraffin included samples
  • Database
  • Double-coded samples


Why use Biobanco-IMM


  • For depositing your samples

    • Assist in the collection of samples, including blood collection in Biobanco-IMM facilities or in another local, connection to the surgical theater and coordination with transport services
    • Support for data collection, including customization of the database
    • Accountable for all aspects of the processing and storage of samples
    • Quality control of samples
    • Physical and electronic security of the samples
    • Coverage of ethical and legal aspects for future use of samples and clinical data
    • Visibility of collections of samples, attracting international research networks that could facilitate participation in high impact publications

    For requesting samples for research

    • Immediate access to samples and clinical information, saving the initial phase of collection
    • Good sample quality and accurate clinical information
    • The cost of using Biobanco-IMM is lower than processing samples at your lab
    • Samples available to clarify new questions raised by the evolution of the project or by reviewers.

Biobanco-IMM Publications

  • Northcott, P. A., Shih, D. J. H., Peacock, J., Garzia, L., Morrissy, A. S., Zichner, T., Stütz, A. M., et al. Subgroup-specific structural variation across 1,000 medulloblastoma genomes. Nature 2012, 488(7409), 49–56.

  • Ramaswamy, V., Remke, M., Bouffet, E., Faria, C. C., Perreault, S., Cho, Y.-J., Shih, D. J., et al. Recurrence patterns across medulloblastoma subgroups: an integrated clinical and molecular analysis. The lancet oncology 2013, Oct 16 [Epub ahead of print]

  • Caetano-Lopes J*, Rodrigues A*, Lopes A, Vale AC, Pitts-Kiefer MA, Vidal B, Perpétuo IP, Monteiro J, Konttinen YT, Vaz MF, Nazarian A, Canhão H*, Fonseca JE*. Rheumatoid Arthritis bone fragility is associated with upregulation of IL17 and DKK1 gene expression. Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology 2013 Apr 2 [Epub ahead of print].

  • Cáliz R, Canet LM, Lupiañez CB, Canhão H, Escudero A, Filipescu I, Segura-Catena J, Soto-Pino MJ, Expósito-Ruiz M, Ferrer MÁ, García A, Romani L, González-Utrilla A, Vallejo T, Pérez-Pampin E, Hemminki K, Försti A, Collantes E, Fonseca JE, Sainz J. Gender-Specific Effects of Genetic Variants within Th1 and Th17 Cell-Mediated Immune Response Genes on the Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. PLoS One 2013 Aug 30;8(8):e72732. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072732.

  • Madruga Dias JA, Rosa RS, Perpétuo I, Rodrigues AM, Janeiro A, Costa MM, Gaião L, Pereira da Silva JA, Fonseca JE, Miltenberger-Miltenyi G. Pachydermoperiostosis in an African patient caused by Chinese/Japanese SLCO2A1 mutation – case report and review of literature. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Sep 5. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Vale AC, Aleixo IP, Lúcio M, Saraiva A, Caetano-Lopes J, Rodrigues A, Amaral PM, Rosa LG, Monteiro J, Fonseca JE, Vaz MF, Canhão H. At the moment of occurrence of a fragility hip fracture, men have higher mechanical properties values in comparison with women. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2013 Oct 16;14(1):295.

  • Bettencourt BF, Rocha FL, Alves H, Amorim R, Caetano-Lopes J, Vieira-Sousa E, Pimentel-Santos F, Lima M, Porto G, Branco JC, Fonseca JE, Bruges-Armas J. Protective effect of ERAP1 haplotype in ankylosing spondylitis: investigating non-MHC genes in HLA-B27-positive individuals. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2013 Sep 17 [Epub ahead of print]

  • Vale AC, Faustino J, Reis L, Lopes A, Vidal B, Monteiro J, Fonseca JE, Canhão H, Vaz MF. Effect of the strain rate on the twisting of trabecular bone from women with hip fracture. J Biomech Eng. 2013 Dec 1;135(12):121005-9

  • Remke, M., Ramaswamy, V., Peacock, J., Shih, D. J. H., Koelsche, C., Northcott, P. A., Hill, N., et al. (2013). TERT promoter mutations are highly recurrent in SHH subgroup medulloblastoma. Acta neuropathologica, 126(6), 917–929. doi:10.1007/s00401-013-1198-2


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