Biological Resource Centre (BRC) is a research support structure, which manages the conservation of collections of human biological samples, with the consent of donors. The aim is to advance medical and scientific research.
Annotated samples of clinical, biological, genealogical or epidemiological data represent an exceptional resource on which the research work of tomorrow's medicine is based.


The BRC ensures that french bioethical laws are respected, that donors are informed and consent is obtained, and that their samples are used ethically.
It guarantees optimal conditions for the preparation and storage of samples, following the french standard of quality.
The BRC must encourage the use of biocollections, their sharing and collaboration between research teams.

Premises and equipment

An area of 340 m² has been set up and equipped to ensure the storage of 800,000 samples at various temperatures.
The BRC is equipped with :
  • offices, one of which is dedicated to the reception of samples
  • two laboratories: a type L2 laboratory for the preparation of samples under sterile conditions (serum, plasma, cells, urine, etc.) and a laboratory for the extraction of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and the aliquoting of stools
  • an air-conditioned room housing refrigerators and freezers for preservation at +4°C, -25°C and -80°C (maximum capacity of 24 chambers)
  • a secure cryogenics room equipped with 330-litre liquid nitrogen tanks, with automatic filling, for conservation at -196°C (maximum capacity of 6 tanks)

Sample Safety

Maximum guarantees have been taken to ensure the safety of biocollections:

  • the temperature of the storage chambers is recorded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
  • a double monitoring system allows immediate intervention to secure the samples in case of failure (on-call personnel);
  • emergency chambers are always available (1 for 5);
  • access to the premises is controlled (badge access).

Quality Process

The BRC has been certified since July 2014 according to the EQS NF S96/900 quality standard which is a standard for "Quality of Biological Resource Centres (BRC) - Management system of a BRC and quality of biological resources". This certification guarantees a professional management of the collections and the quality of the samples.

Date Base

A computer tool (MO-Crb software, co-financed by the Regional Council of Pays de la Loire and the University Hospital) allows the traceability of samples and the recording of the associated data. It allows :

  • the complete traceability of a sample from its reception to its delivery
  • management of :
    • collections
    • donor data
    • donor consents
    • data relating to the sample itself
    • the availability of samples
    • collaborations
    • contracts
  • monitoring of the BRC's activities

As the BRC is multi-thematic, it cannot manage all the clinical-biological data related to the various collections. This management is the responsibility of the scientific managers of the collections, who generally have databases specific to their themes.