Researchers conduct decentralised searches via the Sample Locator’s central search interface to locate suitable biosamples and data for their research projects (“feasibility query”) The biobanks’ bridgeheads evaluate the queries and identify potentially suitable samples. See here for more information on the Sample Locator.
Authentication and Negotiator
If a feasibility query via the Sample Locator is successful, users log in to contact relevant biobanks and refine their query. Negotiator has been developed for this purpose. Users must register for Negotiator via the German National Research and Education Network (DFN). They can then communicate efficiently with several biobanks at the same time via Negotiator and the biobanks can also share information on the availability of samples/data confidentially.
Bridgehead with data warehouse and connector
The bridgehead implemented in the biobanks consists of a data warehouse and a connector. To ensure the greatest possible interoperability, the data is harmonised according to the international HL7-FHIR® standard. This is achieved through a local extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) process. The Implementation Guide contains detailed information on the technical implementation of data harmonisation and setup of a local bridgehead.
German Biobank Directory
The German Biobank Directory provides an overview of the biobanks in Germany that are relevant for biomedical research. Biobanks provide contact details along with aggregated information on sample collections in this central register. Biobanks connected to GBN’s IT infrastructure can update the information in the German Biobank Directory automatically. As with the Sample Locator, researchers and biobanks communicate via Negotiator. See here for more information on the German Biobank Directory.