Guadagnare Salute

Epidemiologia e prevenzione delle malattie cerebro e cardiovascolari


The population biobank

The population biobank of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS)

Biobanks, or biological banks, are collections of biological materials, stored at low temperatures, voluntarily donated by groups of individuals. Together with information associated with donors, they represent an indispensable tool for studying the molecular mechanisms and genetic factors related to the development of pathological conditions.


The biological samples bank is a system that stores different types of biological material at low temperatures that can be used for future researches, not planned at the beginning of the collection for the study, in the field of biochemistry, molecular biochemistry and genetics.


The population biobank of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) is based on the collection of biological specimens belonging to the general population, enrolled in epidemiological studies conducted between 1993 and 2019. The biobank contains more than 290,000 specimens collected in 40,000 donors of all ages, associated with the individual data collected at the time of enrollment (lifestyles, risk factors, conditions at risk, pathologies, environmental factors). All donors are followed over time for morbidity and mortality.


Within the Progetto CUORE, the cohorts belonging to the ISS population biobank are those of the studies Matiss, Monica-Latina, Osservatorio Epidemiologico Cardiovascolare 1998-2002 and Osservatorio Epidemiologico Cardiovascolare/Health Examination Survey 2008-2012, Fine, and Health Examination Survey 2018-2019. These studies are characterized by the collection and storage at the biobank of serum, plasma, buffy coat, packed red cells samples. The storage of these materials is performed following standard methods, used in various international studies.


By dividing the different biological materials into several minimum volume aliquots, they can be used for different analyses in laboratories or at different times, avoiding waste at the thawing time.


Biological samples are used exclusively for research purposes, with the consent of the donor. The biological bank is managed in compliance with international ethical recommendations, guidelines, and national laws.


© Istituto Superiore di Sanita (ISS)