HEnRY: A DZIF LIMS tool for the collection and documentation of biospecimens in multicentre studies

Effective biobanking of biospecimens for multicenter studies today requires more than spreadsheets and paper documents; a software system capable of improving workflows and sharing while keeping critical personal information deidentified is critical. Both commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and open-source biobanking laboratory information management systems (LIMS) are available, but, as the University of Cologne found out, those options may be too complex to implement or cost-intensive for multicenter research networks. The university took matters into their own hands and developed the HIV Engaged Research Technology (HEnRY) LIMS, which has since expanded into a broader, open-source biobanking solution that can be applied to contexts beyond HIV research. This 2020 paper discusses the LIMS and its development and application, concluding that it offers “immense potential for emerging research groups, especially in the setting of limited resources and/or complex multicenter studies.”

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