Human biomaterial banks (short: biobanks) are collections of human body substances (i.e. blood, DNA, urine or tissue) connected with disease specific information. This allow for research of relations between deseases and underlying (molecular) modifications and paves the way for developing target-oriented therapies ("personalized medicine").
The biobank material arises from samples taken for therapeutical or diagnostic reasons or is extracted in the context of clinical trials. An approval for usage by the patient is always needed prior to any research activities.
The ZeBanC biobank is one of five biobanks (Berlin, Aachen, Heidelberg, Kiel, Würzburg) funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF - Federal Ministry of Education and Research). Apart from establishing a biobank at their particular sites the five biobanks also obliged themselves to develop example processes and best practice methods that can be used by other hospitals building a biobank in the future.
In addition to the activities of those five biobanks the "Technologie- und Methodenplattform für vernetzte Forschung e.V. (TMS) develops a nationwide Biobank Registry which is supposed to list all German biobanks.