Services Offered

Our operation offers complete short- and long-term storage solutions that make storing with the Biorepository ideal for many situations. We are committed to providing our clients with the best possible service to fit individual needs.

We offer two options for sample accessioning and annotation, with or without the use of barcodes:

  1. Box inventory, where here we track the box within our freezer however the vials within each box are not individually tracked and therefore the specific location of each vial within the box remains the responsibility of the client.
  2. Vial inventory, where each individual vial is entered into the LIMS.

Biorepository personnel can also assist you, if required, with the selection and purchase of cryogenic boxes, labels and courier services. Samples can be shipped on dry-ice or with liquid nitrogen dry shippers, in order to preserve sample integrity.

Quality Assurance

The Biorepository strives for the highest quality, standards and performance. Using the Standard Operating Procedures put in place helps ensure absolute sample integrity and total regulatory compliance. In addition, our policies, processes and procedures have been developed in accordance with ISBER Best Practices to ensure appropriate Quality Assurance. The success of quality ensures the correct care, treatment and storage of samples at the OHRI Biorepository.

We aim to provide our clients with a management solution for short-term and long-term temperature-controlled storage. Our state-of-the-art facility provides real time tracking and secure storage for biological samples. Our clients can be assured that all safety issues are in strict accordance with the latest regulations and that the Biorepository has the staff and systems to offer a first-class biological storage facility.

Cost-Recovery System

The Biorepository is a part of the not-for-profit Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and therefore operates on a cost recovery basis. We apply storage fees calculated on a per-box -per month basis. Flat rates are applied to study set-up, closure, and a broad variety of basic and optional services.

This allows us to provide users with the flexibility to choose the most cost-effective solutions to their needs, to provide detailed budget justification for granting agencies and to maintain transparency in the cost estimate and billing. For a cost estimate please contact:

Ethics and Privacy

As part of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute we are committed to comply with the requirements of the TCPS2 Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.

Researchers using the facility for storing their samples are the primary custodians of the samples. They retain the control of the distribution of the specimens to other researchers, the responsibility for obtaining and maintaining the necessary approvals and verifying that the secondary use by other researchers of specimens collected in their study was approved by the appropriate REB in accordance with the initial REB approval, and the donors’ consent. The researchers also retain the responsibility to notify the Biorepository if a study participant requests their samples to be destroyed.

We will work with researchers to maintain the annotations attached to each sample in the Biorepository’s tracking software (LIMS) at a strict minimum which is required for tracking the samples within the biorepository.

Biorepository personnel can assist with ethics application by providing information about internal policy, quality, and procedures to satisfy TCPS 2 requirements for biospecimen research.

Accessing Our Services

The Biorepository personnel will work with you to provide a step-by-step sample shipment, accessioning and storage plan that will meet your goals and objectives. We will help you develop a sample management strategy, organize your portfolio and secure your inventory.

How to get started:

  1. Contact us at to discuss the needs and details of your individual project, including but not limited to:
    1. Sample type
    2. Shipping/Transportation
    3. Receipt of samples
    4. Accessioning
    5. Storage
  2. After the details of the project have been fully outlined, facility staff will send out a Quote for Services
  3. A Service Agreement is drafted with mutually agreed upon terms and vetted through the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Contracts Department.
  4. The Client Registration Form is completed by the party seeking to store within the Biorepository to ensure all the regulatory and ethics approvals have been obtained and to issue the client code.
  5. Initiate the receipt and storage of samples.