Scientists Developed Virtual 3D Biobank to Accelerate Cancer Research

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Researchers from University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute scientists, Australia have developed 3D virtual platform to cloud copies of human cancer tissues

Virtual biobank is expected to accelerate cancer research by providing access to critical information regarding cancer therapeutics. Cancerous tissue samples donated by patients will be digitized by biobanks, which will help in revealing vital information regarding cancer research. Digital samples are developed from high resolution microscopy images. They are available in 2D and 3D.

Virtual database operates by displaying 3D image datasets along with conventional 2D micrographs used by pathologists and researchers. Each dataset is available with detailed, de-identified clinicopathological and technical metadata to provide context for further research. Physical samples associated with each dataset can also be obtained from the source biobank, using provided contact details. Datasets are available to both researchers and the general public to encourage greater utilization of clinical data.

As a part of research, samples collected from tumor biopsy were stored at Hunter Cancer Biobank, which were later converted into virtual copy. Any user can access the information of required tissue from web. 3D copy of image and research data regarding the same is provided online and the physical sample is kept intact. The team have successfully uploaded 20 sample images of breast cancer along with clinical information.

“We’d also like to convert the 3D data into virtual reality for education and general awareness. Hopefully soon, anyone with a smartphone and Google Cardboard could experience the internal environment of cancer tissue and bring about new insights,” said Dr William Palmer, researcher involved in study.


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