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The KP Research Bank Biorepository stores over 4.5 million specimens (frozen and ambient) representing over 440,000 KP members and occupies over 5,000 square feet. It is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and is staffed with dedicated research laboratory personnel who are responsible for maintaining the laboratory space, handling stored samples, performing quantity control, and preparing samples for studies.

We adhere to industry best practices for processing, long-term storage, retrieval, and distribution of specimens. Additionally, the KP Research Bank Quality Management system is certified by TUV USA to ISO: 9001-2015. The KP Research Bank also maintains accreditation with the College of American Pathologists (CAP).


The KP Research Bank Biospecimen collection is currently integrated into the standard clinical workflows for Kaiser Permanente Laboratories, all of which are accredited by The Joint Commission and CLIA. As such, collection policies and processes reflect published best practices for clinical laboratories. DNA, Serum and Plasma sample types are available for research use.



DNA is extracted from source samples (blood, buffy coat, saliva) using various magnetic bead-based kits and automated methods, then aliquoted into 2D barcoded tubes with DNA stabilizer, followed by dehydration and humidity-controlled ambient storage. The concentration of DNA is measured using a fluorescence method with automated multimode detectors. Upon request, the DNA can be normalized to the desired concentration and volume using automated liquid handling platforms.

Technician in biorepository lab


Blood is drawn into SST tubes, prepared within 1 hour of collection and shipped refrigerated to the KPRB Biorepository. The typical storage volume is 800 μL.

Blood test tubes


Blood is drawn in EDTA tubes and shipped refrigerated to the KP Research Bank Biorepository. EDTA tubes are spun at 3000 RPM for 15 minutes, and then plasma is aliquoted into 2D barcoded tubes for storage. The typical storage volume is 800 μL.

Biorepository employees

Research Use

The KP Research Bank releases only derivatives of the collected source specimens, such as germ cell DNA, serum, and plasma. The average amount of DNA released for recent studies ranges from 50 to 400 ng, and the volume of serum/plasma ranges from 100 to 400 µL. All specimens can be aliquoted into various types of destination labware using liquid handling platforms. Ancillary quality control (QC) methods such as rtPCR, spectroscopy, or capillary gel electrophoresis, are also available upon request. We are well-equipped to support custom protocols, custom plating, and various labware types.

Access to KP Research Bank resources by non-KP researchers requires collaboration with a KP researcher, who can help refine the phenotype of interest. Use of KP Research Bank resources is intended to facilitate publishable, public domain research that will advance the understanding of health and disease and improve care delivery.

Bin of test tubes

Facility and Equipment

The KP Research Bank Biorepository supports various automation, including (but not limited to) five liquid handling platforms, an integrated DNA extraction station with liquid dispensers, DNA extraction robots, and heat sealers. We also support high-throughput sample processing. The quality of the samples is controlled by various DNA assessment techniques and volumetric methods. Complex ancillary automation enables high precision, error protection, and limits work-related staff injuries.

The storage equipment comprises an RTS A4 temperature and humidity-controlled robotic ambient storage unit for archiving DNA, as well as a walk-in ultra-low freezer with 2,552 cubic feet of usable storage, accommodating approximately 5,000,000 cryotubes. Additionally, there are nineteen upright ultra-low freezers and four refrigerators. All cold chain and ambient storage equipment are equipped with audible/visual alarms and a 24/7 Isensix monitoring system. Furthermore, all critical equipment is backed up by diesel power generators and an uninterrupted power source (UPS). The walk-in ultra-low freezer unit also features an independent liquid nitrogen backup system.

A customized third-party Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) tracks specimens at each step and is linkable to KP Research Bank operations and clinical information databases.


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