To find new methods of treating heart failure, it is necessary to understand the causes and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in its development. There are numerous laboratory methods available for this purpose, the range of which is expanding year by year. The starting materials for many of these methods are blood (whole blood, plasma and serum) and DNA. Materials for which additional information about the clinical course of the disease or special laboratory parameters exist are extraordinarily valuable. Particularly meaningful results can be achieved from this combination. Until now, these materials were always acquired as part of a single study. For later inquiries or for use in newly established laboratory methods, patients must once again be identified and material collected in laborious, time-consuming processes. This means that it takes a long time until results can be achieved using new methods.
The goal of this project is the creation of an extensive biomaterials bank. Materials (blood, serum, plasma, DNA) from all patients who participate in studies in the network will be collected for this purpose. The objective is a consistently high quality standard for the processing, storage and management of all samples. The biomaterials bank is an investment in the future by the network. It enables the competence network and the research community in general to acquire new scientific knowledge about the development, progression and prognosis of the different forms of heart failure.
Serum, plasma, and DNA samples of about 7,000 patients (about 50% with repeat samples) with heart failure were collected, processed, transported, aliquoted and stored in a standardized fashion. The current stock of aliquots amounts to about 160.000 samples. The biobank was involved in numerous projects, both as main investigator and research cooperator.
The biobank of the competence network has stopped to collect new biosamples. The current stock is available for cooperative research projects (including genetic research) upon request of academic and industrial partners using the pre-defined access rules of the competence network.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Störk
Universitätsklinikum Würzburg und Deutsches Zentrum für Herzinsuffizienz Würzburg
Tel.: +49 (0)931 20146362