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Specimen Distribution

Distribution Protocol (DP)

Distribution is a process of retrieving one or more biosamples from biorepositories. Biorepositories have defined protocols known as distribution protocols for collecting and distributing biospecimens. While distributing stored specimens and data to researchers, biorepositories require an additional IRB or ethics review.


Distributing specimens based on the study's written procedures describing what number of specimens and quantity of specimens will be utilized for research is known as distribution. 

OpenSpecimen’s distribution module enables researchers to search for samples of interest, request for samples, biobank managers to approve or reject, and finally, technicians to distribute the samples to the researchers.


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  • The site administrator gets requests for specimens from multiple sources, for example, via telephone, emails, website forms, or the OpenSpecimen request module.
  • Distribution of specimens can also be a part of the study as a regular procedure or a step, especially when collaborators with different expertise work on a single project.

  • Once the biobank’s approval process approves a request, the administrator or a technician can create an ‘order.’ in OpenSpecimen.
  • Before distributing, the existing specimens might have to be aliquoted or processed. For example, you might want to give 2 ml out of the stored 10 ml of plasma, or you might want to extract DNA from the stored packed cells.  Once all the specimens are ready, it can be distributed to the researchers.
  • A distribution report can be downloaded and printed for each order. OpenSpecimen will send email notifications to the requester once the order is dispatched.


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