Welcome to Stellenbosch University

The Stellenbosch University Biorepository Unit is a new, state-of-the-art facility located on Tygerberg Medical Campus, at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa. The unit aims to provide researchers both internal and external with a secure and cost-effective alternative to medium to long-term sample storage by utilizing the latest in cutting edge sample storage technology – the Hamilton BiOS L5. This is the first fully automated biorepository in Africa, and the second in the Southern Hemisphere. The capacity of this system is 5 million samples – the equivalent of a few hundred conventional ultra-low temperature freezers. Unlike conventional freezers, the energy footprint of BiOS is incredibly low and will result in a total energy saving of approximately 85% which also support SU energy objective of 2020.

The facility is equipped with several backups in the event of power failure, including a backup generator and a bulk liquid nitrogen tank which allows for vapour phase storage of samples in the BiOS should the generator fail. BiOS is monitored around the clock with alarms and alerts being sent directly to Biorepository staff, as well as the technical support team, in real-time for immediate action.

The SU Biorepository Unit will be fully compliant with ISO 20387:2018 and ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories) guidelines, and will function in accordance with all ethical and regulatory requirements.

Hamilton BiOS L5



The BiOS offers guaranteed sample integrity, security and full traceability throughout the lifetime of a sample. Multiple levels of redundancy ensure that samples will remain at a constant temperature of -80°C, despite the introduction and removal of samples from the system. The temperature of each sample is tracked at all times and a temperature profile is created for each sample as it moves throughout the system. The system is incredibly secure, allowing users to request and retrieve samples only with the correct access and permission.

Please follow the link below for more information on the Hamilton BiOS: