CDC Biorepository

Vision and Mission

About CDC Biorepository

The Division of Laboratory Systems operates the CDC Biorepository located in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The CDC Biorepository was established as a centralized biorepository resource to preserve CDC’s valuable samples and provide ongoing support to CDC programs. The approximately 6 million biological and environmental samples maintained by the biorepository are critical to the diverse CDC programs, researchers, and collaborators.

Storage Options

Programs at CDC can store their collections at the CDC Biorepository for both short- and long-term storage. A variety of storage and temperature options are available including vapor-phase, liquid nitrogen cryogenic vats (-100°C to -190°C), mechanical freezers (-20°C to -80°C), refrigeration (1°C to 4°C), and ambient storage.

Sample Management

The CDC Biorepository manages collections obtained from CDC’s public health surveillance, research, and outbreak responses. The data associated with sample collections is managed using a sample inventory management system. The CDC Biorepository has enhanced its data and documentation requirements to maximize the usability of samples. Over time, these activities will ensure collection integrity and sustainability.

Sample Handling and Retrieval

In addition to safe storage of samples, the CDC Biorepository can retrieve and transport them back to the CDC program or a destination outside of CDC at the program’s request. The biorepository can meet the needs of CDC programs by preparing multiple aliquots for testing and research.

CDC Identifiers

The CDC Biorepository serves as the block administrator for the issuance of CDC’s two identifiers—the CDC Sample Identifier (CSID) and the CDC Unique Identifier (CUID). This standardization ensures each sample and its aliquots and derivatives are uniquely and consistently identified and facilitates traceability and tracking for public health and quality management purposes.

CDC Labels

The CDC Biorepository can create and print a variety of labels that facilitate and improve sample tracking. All labels are customizable and can be created with two different barcodes (linear and/or QR code).

Biorepository Cryogenic Vats

Cryogenic Services

The CDC Biorepository provides cryogenic materials for use at all CDC facilities in Atlanta. This includes the provision of liquid nitrogen for preserving biological materials, dry ice pellets, liquid carbon dioxide, and argon for laboratory needs.

CDC Biorepository's Impact

Samples housed at the CDC Biorepository have the potential to play a crucial role in public health research and population health by facilitating scientific knowledge advancement, characterization of new etiologic agents, investigation of disease causes, and development of new tests, vaccines, and treatments. Collections at the biorepository also support and enhance national studies, such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the Active Bacterial Core surveillance program, and the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network.

Contact us at

Page last reviewed: November 15, 2018