Sample aliquoting is the practice of dividing a sample into one or more smaller portions. Each smaller portion of the sample is known as an aliquot and it is similar in characteristics as the parent sample. It only differs in quantity. A sample or an aliquot can be further processed to obtain derivatives. The derivatives have different characteristics to that of the parent sample or aliquot. These processed outcomes differ in terms of chemical nature, quantity etc depending upon the type and volume of reagents used during sample processing. The derivatives can be further aliquoted and stored for various purposes.
Sample integrity plays a critical role in biorepositories and clinical research. The major threats to a sample's integrity include inappropriate sample nomenclature, repeated freeze-thaws, sample contamination due to inadequate labware sterilization (such as pipettes, tips, etc.) or a missing sample vial, that lead to meaningless test results. When such test results are delivered to a patient, they drastically affect a patient's experience in terms of lost time and faith in the laboratory's proficiency. Laboratories and biorepositories often aliquot samples during preservation and sample preparation to ensure that its biochemical composition and molecular integrity is retained. For instance, if one aliquot is lost, contaminated or degraded owing to multiple freeze-thaws, there is always a back up aliquot in place—with conserved integrity—that facilitates uninterrupted sample testing and processing. Furthermore, many biobanks distribute aliquots across multiple freezers in geographically isolated locations as a part of their disaster recovery plan.
Sample genealogy refers to the parent-child relationship between subjects (patients), samples, aliquots and derivatives. Keeping track of the comprehensive sample information—such as sample storage, number of aliquots/derivatives, associated subject data, test data etc—enables quick sample identification, sample processing and in turn quicker sample turnaround times. However, managing voluminous data related to multiple samples, aliquots, derivatives and tracking them using spreadsheets and paper based schemes often becomes tedious and time-consuming. What if you could track an aliquot or a derivative and pull up the meta data in a matter of seconds?
CloudLIMS offers CloudLIMS with complete sample, aliquot and derivative management functionality in the integrated Samples module. Using this module, you can create aliquots/derivatives for any sample collected from a particular subject/patient in a compliant environment. CloudLIMS not only associate the aliquots/derivatives with the parent samples and patient data, but also, automatically record the parent-child relationship. The software thereby, maintains the complete genealogy for each sample. This information is represented in the form of unique identifiers such as Parent ID, Subject ID and Genealogy. For a selected sample record, genealogy provides a hierarchical tree view of aliquots and derivatives, along with other meta-data such as storage location, time stamp, custodian etc. Additionally, each aliquot can be further sub-aliquotted, while maintaining the lineage. Intrinsically, aliquots carry their parent's consent restrictions to unauthorised user access, following the HIPAA guidelines. The Samples module also allows you to configure alerts for aliquot/derivative volume, expiration date, freeze-thaw count and many more.
You can create, edit and delete aliquots and derivatives.
To create an aliquot or derivative from the Samples and Subjects modules:
A. Creating Aliquots or Derivatives from Samples Module:
B. Creating Aliquots/ Derivatives from Subjects Module:
Note: Alternatively, the saved aliquots and derivatives can also be accessed from the Samples module under the specific Sample Type.
To edit an aliquot or derivative record:
To delete an aliquot or derivative record:
Alternatively, if you have already added the aliquots or derivatives in the Samples module and need to associate them with a patient, here is how to do it: