Since we had rekindled dreams of bringing the Genomus project to life, we have overcome numerous difficulties and obstacles. Now we want to share some tips & tricks.
How to enroll humans in your study?
Conducting any clinical trial or other study involving humans needs an informed consent to be collected. According to guidelines from the fields of medical ethics and research ethics you should ask participants of your study to confirm their consent to share their personal data/donate biomaterial/to receive therapy/undergo an intervention and ect. You should provide comprehensive information about your study purposes and process in a popular form. Informed Consent Form (ICF) templates can be found on the website of the World Health Organization. You should also get approval from your local ethics committee. Here are our papers, you can also use as a template.
Fig.1 Information for participants
Fig.2 Our informed consent
How to manage personal data?
You should work with depersonalised samples only. All participants get their geneID, which are used to identify samples down the road.
You should store personal data securely. The only way to couple the geneID with participant’s name and other personal data - to use one of our lab PC’s, which is blocked, has no Web access, used only for data storage and accessible for authorized researchers only.
We suggest using Java technologies such as Spring to achieve complete safety of the data on your website. If you use node.js and express we’d recommend the framework of the nest.js server. For requests it’s better to use graphQl to achieve unified access to the app.
How to manage a huge amount of samples?
- Work out a logistic scheme before sampling
- Use multiple backups to avoid the sample loss. Make sample duplicates on each stage of the lab process. It will help you to deal with any mistake. We advise you to use stable and easy to store for a long time “backups” as your main archive
- Prepare enough space to store samples at the right temperature conditions
- Maintain the record of contents of lab capacities (Dewar vessels, refrigerators and ect.). The best solution is to use an electronic lab notebook, which will also help you to manage procurements in time
- All microtubes in your lab should be marked in an easy to identify way. The best solution is to use stickers with QR-codes. If you’ve found an unmarked test-tube in your lab -> throw it away)
- Try to automate routine processes (DNA extraction, aliquoting, PCR master-mix preparation) and exclude the human factor. It will help you to avoid most typical mistakes and save your time and money
Here’s how our robot extracts DNA
Fig.3 Microtubes with QR-codes to identify them easily
How to manage a biobank?
- Quality control of the samples. All the samples in your biobank should have equal good quality to avoid unpleasant surprises. It is especially important in the context of routine processes automation. The idea we’ve come up with was to perform DNA quality control using qPCR before placing a sample into the biobank and it’s ID to the record of contents
- Dispose the microtubes in a convenient manner. You should understand where each tube lies before opening the fridge. We use boxes with 100 microtubes in each, numbered in an obvious way
- Use a small netbook with the record of contents right near the fridge. Make this record available on other lab devices through the local network