Welcome to Stellenbosch University

The Biomedical Research Institute Biorepository Unit (BMRI) 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 will​ provide researchers with a secure and cost-effective alternative to long-term sample storage by using the latest in cutting-edge storage technology – the Hamilton BiOS L5 (BiOS). The Unit will also provide sample processing and preparation for storage services with the sophisticated Hamilton easyBlood STAR.

Hamilton Bios L5 is the first automated storage system of this scale in the Southern Hemisphere. The system’s capacity makes provision for 3.5 million samples which is the equivalent of a few hundred conventional ultralow 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 system is also upgradeable to store an additional 3-5 million samples. 

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 Unit will follow the ISBER guidelines, be compliant with ISO 20387:2018 and will function in accordance with all the necessary ethical and regulatory requirements. ​​

G​​uaranteed sample integrity, security and traceability 

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: