The Biopathology Center offers the following services, including : the Biospecimen Core, Biomedical Imaging Team, Research Informatics Core, Kit Management, Morphology Core, and the Nucleic Acid Core.
The Biospecimen Core, along with Core components, can provide a full range of services for Researchers involved in biospecimen research wishing to enhance their biospecimen collection and research efforts. The Core components include: Biospecimen Repository, Nucleic Acid Core, Morphology Core and the Cell Line Core.
Repository management is a key element in the success of the Biopathology Center. Efficient storage methods are utilized in order to ensure the integrity of the irreplaceable biospecimens for future research. We focus highly on maintaining each specimen with the highest quality and excellent data.The BPC is an active member of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER), and follows the highest standards to ensure the quality of specimens in the repository. Specimens are stored in liquid nitrogen, -80°C freezers, -20°C freezers, and 4°C refrigerators, which are monitored continuously to prevent the loss of these invaluable biospecimens.
Services Provided by the Biopathology Center (BPC):
- Solid tissue processing (i.e. Frozen/OCT embedded, formalin-fixed paraffin embedded)
- Blood/blood product processing and aliquoting
- Control blood collections
- Sputum processing
- DNA and RNA extractions with Quality Control
- EBV transformation of B-cells
- Tissue Microarray creation
- Long-established workflow with the Morphology Core and Molecular Genetics
- Pathology review
Banking and storage
- Long-term cryostorage
- Environmental monitoring system
- Experienced in shipping frozen, ambient and formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissues
- Technicians IATA certified
- Representatives on NCI Cooperative Group Banking Committee
- Members of International Society of Biological and Environmental Repositories
- Responsible for Regulatory Compliance with Institutions and Agencies such as IRB, CAP, OSHA, CDC, IATA, NCI, NIH, FDA, EPA, etc. relating to laboratory components of trials/projects
- Implementing comprehensive specimen tracking system (receiving, storage and distribution) to include but not limited to a Quality Assurance Management System
- Experience in integrating disparate databases
- Ongoing development of virtual microscopy for digital pathology review of microscope slides
The Biomedical Imaging Team (BIT) is a part of the Biopathology Center at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
The Biomedical Imaging Team is a multidisciplinary team focused on providing imaging services to enhance biomedical research for multiple national organizations including the Children's Oncology Group, the Gynecologic Oncology Group and the pediatric division of the Cooperative Human Tissue Network. BIT continues to build a clinically well-annotated image archive of high quality whole slide images for education, pathology and research.
The Research Informatics Core is a multidisciplinary informatics application development team dedicated to enhancing and expanding research through the scientific application of information management and informatics innovation.
The Research Informatics Core is an award winning, service-oriented group which possesses the following capabilities in these diverse areas:
- Custom computer application development
- Database design and development
- Data and environment integration
- Development of data mining and reporting tools
- Development of expert systems
- Image analysis
- Systems Architecture
- Informatics consulting
- Project management
The BPC Informatics Team is composed of a multidisciplinary informatics application development team. The team is dedicated to enhancing and expanding research through the application of information management and informatics innovation.
BPC Informatics leverages the IT infrastructure and services of Nationwide Children’s Hospital which supports the entire Research Institute. BPC Informatics functions within a proven methodology that emphasizes continued communication throughout the lifecycle of the engagement. The BPC Informatics team capitalizes on its expertise in laboratory information systems, specifically in biorepository management, and life science data modeling to enhance, optimize, and support the cancer community and its translational research efforts.
The BPC Informatics team has significant experience at designing and implementing applications, analytic tools, and reports to provide feedback to operational/support staff. Current applications built and supported by BPC Informatics include the following:
- Specimen Tracking and Reporting System (STARS) – A custom built system that tracks the life cycle and the associated data for all of the Biospecimen Core’s specimens.
- Virtual Imaging for Pathology Education & Research (VIPER) – A specialized internet application which facilitates the electronic review and capture of pathology data.
- Kit Management – A biospecimen shipping kit ordering and inventory management system.
- Reporting Services – A framework which allows for rapid report building providing users with easy access to specimen and patient data.
- BPC-DMS – A document management system.
- BPC Invoicing – A purpose-built application used to track quotes, invoices, and investigator payments.
- Navigator – An internet-based data repository that allows investigators to search specimens across all cancer groups as well as request specimens.
- COG High Dimensional Data (HDD) – Provides a place for standardized data collection of assay results.
- Institutional Performance Monitoring System (IPMS) – Collects data used to rate participating institutions on protocol compliance.
Given the central importance of informatics and data management to the operation of a large, successful biorepository like the BPC, the BPC Informatics Team has experience managing numerous concurrent efforts.
This ability is demonstrated across a portfolio of supported projects including: CHTN/TissueQuest, The Cancer Genome Atlas Biospecimen Core Resource (TCGA BCR), the National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Navigator, and ongoing technical interactions with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the NRG Oncology, and the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG). This diverse portfolio of solutions and technologies is possible because of the technical flexibility and adaptability of the team (click here to view the BPC Informatics Portfolio).
The BPC provides collection supplies and shipping containers to collections sites. The BPC provides collection laminated "placemats" to assist in proper collection of specimens. The BPC is currently developing a web-based kit ordering system.
Both Children's Oncology Group (COG) and Gynecological Oncology Group (GOG) have established defined disease treatment protocols which include information on the tissue procurement. The Biopathology Center (BPC) receives the procured specimens from the COG and GOG for laboratory analysis and/or storage for future research.
Tissue collection and transportation from an institution to the BPC is facilitated by specimen procurement kits. Specimen procurement kits are tailored to each protocol, and typically include a cryo-insulated shipping box, specific tissue collection instructions, related tissue collection tools, instructions on tissue treatment, and appropriate storage containers. Use of the proper specimen procurement kit assures a specimen will endure the rigors of transportation to arrive in the best possible condition.
Variations in kit contents are accommodated through user selectable quantities when placing the kit order. Kit materials can even be ordered separately, without a cryo-box, via an ad-hoc ordering process.
Except for the cryo-insulated shipping box, kit contents are not reusable. The cryo-insulated box is reused until it is no longer in condition to survive rough handling.
The Morphology Core Laboratory provides services in histology, electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and confocal and laser scanning microscopy.
Basic histology services such as tissue preparation and embedding, paraffin block or frozen tissue sectioning and H&E staining are available. The Core also provides additional services such as direct and indirect immuno-histochemical staining, serial sectioning, and special stains.
Routine electron microscopy procedures such as fixation, embedding, sectioning and visualization are available. The electron microscopy facility consists of a 480 sq. ft. area equipped with: a Hitachi H-600 standard transmission electron microscope with an attached Gatan video monitor, Gatan Bioscan digital imaging system and dye-sub printer. A light microscope, Ultramicrotome, fume hood, refrigerator, and darkroom area for developing negatives.
Immunofluorescent samples may be analyzed in the confocal facility. The confocal microscope utilizes lasers to allow precise location of fluorescent-tagged proteins, lipids or carbohydrates with in cells. Three-dimensional reconstruction of these tagged particles is also available.
The core facility also houses a PALM Microbeam laser dissecting scope. The microscope is equipped with PALM Robo software, which allows images to be acquired both before and after dissection. The microscope may also be used as a standard research microscope.
The Nucleic Acid Core within the BPC is a CAP/CLIA certified laboratory with three specific functions: a clinical laboratory which performs genetic testing for inherited and somatic genetic disease, a Children's Oncology Group (COG) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) Molecular Reference Laboratory, Neuroblastoma Reference Laboratory and a nucleic acid facility for the COG and Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG).
The laboratory is responsible for DNA and RNA extraction from tissue, bone marrow, and blood in support of COG and GOG protocols. The laboratory serves as a repository for distribution of nucleic acids to investigators for further research.