General and Technical Details

General Details

  • Approximately 1,300 vitiligo patients recruited within the age range of 14 to 68 years (as of October 1, 2013)
  • All participants undergo detailed examination by dermatologist at a screening visit (anthropometric, demographics, history, prior treatments, photos), recorded in our comprehensive Vitiligo Patient Profile (pdf).
  • At recruitment, participants give informed consent (pdf) with option to be re-approached and donate biosample (blood or hair follicles).
    Donated blood is used for DNA isolation and serum archiving in aliquots, for consecutive studies of blood-derived biomarkers.

Technical Details

Img 2517 W1Technically, Vitiligo Biobank is a metabiobank that provides researchers the possibility to search for and request access to the biomaterial that fits their research purposes in vitiligo. It is built under a federated network model, which encourages participation by sample owners who are concerned about their ownership of samples and associated clinical data. The resulting integrated biobank consists of:

  • a collaboration network of biobank operators using a set of Standard Operating Procedures (Data Collection in pdf, Blood/Serum Collection in pdf),  for collection and storage of biosamples related to vitiligo research, and
  • a web application of the CloudBank, which provides a search interface that enables authorized users to search for biomaterial.

A user is authorized to search for the biomaterial and related data after free registration with the VRF. When the user has found the appropriate biomaterial for his research, he or she can request access to the biomaterial owner. VRF will forward user's request to the collection owner who can then contact the researcher and decide about the request.

For more information on biobanking in rare diseases, download our presentation Gold Standard in Biobanking for Vitiligo and Rare Diseases (pdf)


Photo: Inside the Vitiligo Biobank freezer

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