Biobanks provide stored material to basic, translational, and epidemiological research and this material should be transferred without institute-dependent intrinsic bias. The ISBER Biospecimen Science Working Group has released a "Standard PREanalytical Code" (SPREC), which is a proposal for a standard coding of the preanalytical options that have been adopted in order to track and make explicit the preanalytical variations in the collection, preparation, and storage of specimens. In this paper we address 2 issues arising in any biobank or biolaboratory aiming at adopting SPREC: (i) reducing the burden required to adopt this standard coding, and (ii) maximize the immediate benefits of this adoption by providing a free, dedicated software tool. We propose SPRECware, a vision encompassing tools and solutions for the best exploitation of SPREC based on information technology (www.sprecware.org). As a first step, we make available SPRECbase, a software tool useful for generating, storing, managing, and exchanging SPREC-related information associated to specimens. Adopting SPREC is useful both for internal purposes (such as finding the samples having some given preanalytical features), and for exchanging the preanalytical information associated to biological samples between Laboratory Information Systems. In case of a common adoption of this coding, it would be easy to find out whether and where, among the participating Biological Resource Centers, the specimens for a given study are available in order to carry out a planned experiment.
- Preanalytical code
- Software tool