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Studies on effects of pre-analytical ''mishandling'': options for collaboration

Components of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) might be altered by variation in pre-analytical steps during the processing of biobank samples. Therefore, interpretation of multicentre studies and the discovery of new biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases can be biased. By understanding changes in the CSF, we aim to reduce bias in biomarker outcomes due to pre-analytical variation factors and increase the output of biomarker research.

The Biobank of the department of Clinical Chemistry has prepared sets of anonymised CSF for research purposes. These sets have been experimentally exposed to variation in laboratory handling, such as the time to final storage, the number of freeze/thaw cycles, and transfers of CSF from tube to tube, and can serve as reference material for testing the stability of proteins under pre-analytical conditions or the tendency of proteins to adhere to lab plastics.


We aim to record data on stability of proteins in CSF to get more insight in the effects of pre-analytic variation on CSF components, and therefore search for collaborations for exchanging samples and data.

Available sets are pooled anonymised CSF samples treated in the following way:

  • Delay between centrifugation and storage at -80 °C:

o 1, 2, 4, 24, 72 or 168 hours (=1 week) at room temperature
o 1, 2, 4, 24, 72 or 168 hours at 4 °C
o 1 month at -20 °C

  • Freeze and thaw cycles: 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 cycles
    (frozen at -80 °C, thawed at room temperature for 2 hours, and stored again at -80 °C for >1 night)


  • Transfer of CSF from tube to tube (to check absorbance): 0, 1, 2, 4 and 6 transfers

Aliquots contain 500 µL of CSF.


  • In order to check whether your molecule of interest is detectable in our CSF pools in the first place, we can provide you with a test sample.
  • Material was collected and used conform the Dutch Code for Proper Secondary Use of Human Tissue (FMVV, 2011)
  • We will work with a standardized Material Transfer Agreement.
  • For further information or requests please contact Eline Willemse