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Biobanking with children – Resources and Good Practices

Learn here about a participatory approach to biobanking with children

For more information about the legal framework and ethical standards, consult our section on research involving minors on our guidelines for good research. 

Webinar: Biobanking with children

With this webinar, you will learn about: 

  • An outline of the regulatory background  
  • Ethical issues specific to biobanking from children  
  • Data sharing and children’s rights   
  • The need to change biobanking processes & attitudes in all players involved in biobanking with children. 

Publication: Paediatric biobanking for health: The ethical, legal, and societal landscape

This paper explores the ELSI challenges in paediatric biobanking with its inescapable shift regarding the child’s engagement as a participant throughout time. Moreover, it highlights the need to provide empowerment and capability settings to support researchers and biobankers, and backs this with practical examples.

Biobanking Research is About Me – Raising Awareness and Citizen Science

Biobanking in the modern world involves data and sample-based research. It presupposes the construction of an inclusive extended scientific community to work as a team between all the players. It asks for a new social pact for science. Without citizens’ understanding and engagement, biobanking does not work. Patients, citizens, families, and new generations are at the heart of biobanking, making it possible for research to benefit all of us.


Biobanking Experts Develop a Workshop on Genetics for Young Patients

Activity led by the Patient Engagement in Research Department devoted to ensuring the involvement of patients and caregivers in health and innovation projects at Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital. 

EPTRI Toolkit for the Involvement of Patients in Basic Research

A toolkit to educate paediatric patients on their involvement in basic research in the context of the EPTRI project granted by the European Commission. The toolkit includes a video explaining translational research and a repository of curated resources focused on: basic research, animal testing, sample donations, etc. 

What is a Biobank? (Italian)

Video produced by the Telethon Foundation explaining what a biobank is.

From Assent to Consent

Biobanking with children challenges our practice. It requires us to recognize the child as an active participant, with all the rights that we confer on adults. We need to rethink the issues of assent and consent, and move towards dynamic and participatory models of regulation and interpretation. It not only represents a tremendous change of pace but also a significant challenge in terms of the engagement of a participant, the minor, who progressively but often separately acquires decision-making competence and legal capacity. So, who is primarily responsible for proposing to the minor that they might participate in research biobanking? What tools are available to inform and increase the child’s understanding? Who assesses the child’s capacity to understand and assent?


Rare Disease Biobanks and Informed Consent: Video Interview (Italian)

In this video people working in Rare Disease Biobanks are being interviewed and are explaining the informed consent structure and its importance.

Informed Consent from the Informed Consent Matrix (Italian)

Comprehensive informed consent results of the pilot study, including biobanks and patient organizations, for implementing the national informed consent matrix in TNGB. The informed consent form includes the expression of consent for adults, minors, and people unable to give consent.

Download template (Italian)

Children-friendly poster about the GDPR

Children-friendly information about consent and data sharing under the GDPR 

Multi-Actor Engagement

Biobanking requires the multidimensional action of a system based on transparency, inclusion, participation, and reciprocal engagement. Each actor, from the family to the clinicians, to the Research Ethics Committees and the researchers, etc., is mutually necessary for the development, sustainability, and fairness of both biobanking and data-based science. This is especially critical with children, since they are individuals in evolution with a situated vulnerability in transition: paediatric (research) biobanking practices need to collect samples before diseases develop and maintain a prospective follow-up. Such a process would entail the involvement and the conscious commitment of all the players over time. This implies a training shift based on innovative empowerment models that engage all the actors.


Innovative framing paediatric biobanking for early drug development in pediatric oncology

TEARDRoP is working on sustainable biobanking in a pediatric oncological clinical setting that can only work when embedded in routine practices. 

Governance of Access in the Telethon Network of Genetic Biobanks (English)

Document summarizing the shared governance of access to the partner biobanks adopted by the TNGB-Telethon Network of Genetic Biobanks.

Agreement Model Between Biobank, Member of TNGB, and Patient Organization

Innovative ad-hoc agreement model for regulating parties relationship and rare disease sample management (from storage to distribution) of collection from participants belonging to a specific patient organization.

Download the Agreement Model Template (Italian)

RD-Connect: an Integrated Platform for Rare Disease Research

An integrated platform connecting databases, registries, biobanks, and clinical bioinformatics for rare disease research.


Sant Joan de Déu

Kids Barcelona is the Young Person’s Advisory Group (YPAG) at Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital. Formed by patients living with different conditions and a few healthy young people, the Scientific Council provides advice to health research and innovation projects. Their involvement ensures that the projects will be patient-centric and include the perspective of the young patients from the conception of the projects until the communication of outcomes phase. 

Among the training activities performed in the capacity-building program, a practical session was performed in the biobank to explain to them the importance of biological sample donation, the use of the samples for diagnosis and research, and the process of consenting and storing the biological samples. 

Contact: Begonya Nafria

TNGB – Telethon Network of Genetic Biobanks

TNGB – Telethon Network of Genetic Biobanks originates as a research project funded by Fondazione Telethon Italy and is a network of 11 Italian Rare Disease Biobanks.

Foundation Telethon

Foundation Telethon is a non-profit organisation recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, founded in 1990 in response to calls by people suffering from rare diseases.

TEARDRoP – Department of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, UZ Ghent, Belgium

TEARDRoP – Oncology consortium was founded to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research in the field of pediatric oncology

Contact: Liselot Mus

BBMRI-ERIC is not responsible for a lack of authorization to share from the original author, nor is it expected to conduct any investigation to check whether there was the necessary authorization to publish the work. Thus, BBMRI-ERIC assumes that the needed authorizations have be legitimately obtained by those who share the information with BBMRI-ERIC.

Table of contents


Sara Casati


Published 21/10/2021 Updated 11/10/2022


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