Central Project 1

Biomaterial Bank (BMB)

Prof. Dr. Dr. Petra Ina Pfefferle1, Prof. Dr. Harald Renz2

1University of Marburg, Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiochemistry – Molecular Diagnostics, Biomedical Research Centre (BMFZ)
2University of Marburg, Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiochemistry – Molecular Diagnostics, Central Laboratory

Structured biomaterial biobanks contribute to translational biomedical research by facilitating quality-controlled acquisition, processing, documentation and dissemination of human bio-specimens. By building up a tailor-made biobank with specimens collected from patients and healthy controls of the MACS (Work Package 1) we aim to centrally support the research consortium with human bio-specimens to investigate the objectives of the FOR 2107. Core of the repository is a large collection of blood compounds to allow deep phenotyping of MACS-participants by assessment of genetic, epigenetic, immunologic and physiologic parameters in the WPs of the FOR. In addition, stool and buccal swabs were collected for further microbiome analyses. We employed quality-controlled workflows which includes core processes such as recruitment, transport, processing, storage and dissemination for 12 different matrices collected within the MACS Biobank. Storage of sample data was organised in a secured and for the MACS biobank parametrized section of biobank-information-management system CentraXX. Up to February 2017, 51,000 aliquots from 1800 participants were processed and documented. Currently, we have samples sets from 1820 participants of the baseline collection and 64 subjects recruited for the follow-up in stock. Additionally, Central Project 1 contributed to joint investigations of gene x environment interactions in a selected sub-sample composed of healthy participants with and without a genetic and environmental risk by assessing cytokine pattern in immune-stimulated whole blood and histone modifications at promoter sites of the candidate genes Cacna1C and Ncan. In this context, we developed novel preparations of blood compartments apposite to the assessment of histone modification in candidate genes. Furthermore, we contributed to deep phenotyping of MACS participants by measuring cytokine pattern in healthy and controls, showing that immune stimulation in MDD patients results in a lowered immune capacity in comparison to healthy controls. In the second funding period we aim to maintain and extend the MACS biobank by collecting samples from the follow-up participants. To maintain and extend quality of samples the following measures will be implemented: In extension to the baseline recruitment we will aliquot immune-stimulated supernatants of whole blood samples to facilitate the usage of a broader spectrum of immunological and metabolic analyses. Furthermore, we will enlarge the spectrum of laboratory parameter by measuring C-reactive protein (CRP) in serum of MACS participants as a marker for inflammation. To enable future microbiome analyses we will stabilize already sampled stool samples to ensure high quality specimens for the application of next-generation sequencing. Finally, we will implement measures to ensure sample storage for scientific use in follow-up projects of the FOR 2107.

Regarding biobanking, CP1 collaborates closely with the clinical research group KFO241 in Göttingen (Prof. Dr. Thomas Schulze).

Project Manager

Prof. Dr. Dr. Petra Pfefferle

Prof. Dr. Harald Renz

Prof. Dr. Harald Renz


Lea.Henning, cand. med.