Cell banking at the ZFMK Biobank
Besides traditional ethanol-fixed tissue samples, the ZFMK Biobank is starting to archive viable cell material. This work is primarily enabled by the FOGS project. The storage of living cells in liquid nitrogen allows preserving them indefinitely, warranting their availability for current and future (non-commercial) research and for conservation purposes.
Once thawed, the cells offer an ample source for high-quality DNA, RNA, proteins, or chromosomes, and can be used for research in, e.g., functional or reproductive biology. Live cells constitute a growing, i.e. 'renewable' resource, which is relevant when considering the scarcity of research material and the necessity to limit sampling events, especially in endangered species.
Ex-situ conservation is increasingly being considered as a backup strategy in species conservation efforts. Viable cell cultures offer unprecedented conservation options as bioscience technology advances.
Please approach us if you have access to material suitable for cell culture that you feel should be preserved.
Recently, ZFMK took over from Prof. David Rawson a substantial collection of fish cells from predominantly species occurring in the North and Irish Seas.