BSF Services

The BioSample Services Facility offers the following biobanking and sample processing services:

DNA Extraction from Whole Blood, Saliva, Isolated Cell Pellet

We are able to accept fresh or frozen whole blood for DNA extraction. Frozen blood or blood that has been held in cold storage for greater than 5 days post draw will be processed under a special protocol to enhance yields. Samples of extracted DNA are subject to QC by 260/280 OD ratio and absorbance at 260nm. For purposes of DNA absorbance measurements we assume that freshly isolated DNA is primarily double stranded and make measurements based on that assumption.

Specimen Requirement

Blood – 5-10mL whole blood in Purple top (K3EDTA) vacutainer vial.
Saliva – For best results collect in Oragene kit.
Cell Pellet – Provide estimated number of cells at order entry.

Reporting of Results

Extractions will be completed within 10 business days upon receipt of sample. Investigators (or those listed as contacts) will have access to reports that will include the sample ID issued by the research team, the BSF ID, the status of the sample, the concentration, and volume.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.

 

RNA Extraction from Whole Blood with PaxGene Tubes

We do not provide the PaxGene Blood Collection tubes. These may be purchased from Qiagen. We will take the PaxGene tubes submitted to us for processing and provide the service to extract RNA, provide a Bioanalyzer QC check for the sample and 260nm absorbance concentration reading. Extracted RNA samples are stored in 0.5ml tubes at -80C immediately after the RNA is QC'd.

Each PaxGene Blood tube will hold 5 ml of blood and on average yields about 5 ug of RNA from a properly collected tube. According to the manufacturer's data: "Blood RNA Tubes are intended for the collection of whole blood and stabilization of cellular RNA for up to 3 days at 18-25°C or up to 5 days at 2-8°C. Currently available data shows stabilization of cellular RNA for at least 6 months at –20°C or -70°C". IMPORTANT: Once chilled or frozen the PaxGene Tube must be transported in a manner to maintain temperature and not be warmed. Failure to ensure tubes maintain temperature after storage at 4C or freezing during handling and transport will adversely affect RNA yield and integrity.

Specimen Requirement

Blood – 5mL whole blood in Paxgene Tube (manufacturer Qiagen)

Reporting of Results

Extractions will be completed within 10 business days upon receipt of sample. Investigators (or those listed as contacts) will have access to reports that will include the sample ID issued by the research team, the BSF ID, and the status of the sample, the concentration, and volume.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.

 

Lymphoblast Transformation

The BSF Core performs Epstein-Barr virus transformations on whole blood samples for the initiation of lymphoblastoid cell lines.
Blood samples should be sent to the BSF Lab (65 Landsdowne Street) via overnight or same day courier. Bloods designated for transformation on the same day are only accepted Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00am and 2:30pm.

For best results, samples need to be received by the core no later than 72 hours after being drawn. Samples received after 72 hours will be processed with the understanding that if the transformation is not successful, payment will still be required for the service. Samples should be kept at room temperature at all times and never refrigerated. For samples received within the requested 72 hours from blood draw the core has a success rate of greater than 90%. However, occasional failure to transform is inherent to this process and is to be expected. No cell lines from cultures maintained elsewhere and sent to us for storage may be grown in our incubators unless they have been first subjected to quarantine and mycoplasma testing and shown to be free of contamination.

Specimen Requirement

Whole blood collected in a 10mL “Yellow top” ACD vacutainer vial and maintained at ROOM TEMPERATURE. DO NOT CHILL.

Reporting of results

Successful transformations are usually evident within 4-6 weeks upon macroscopic examination of the culture. Investigators (or those listed as contacts) will have access to reports that will include the sample ID issued by the research team, the BSF ID, and the status of the sample.
New Culture, less than ~4 weeks will not have any information. Please contact lab directly for information pertaining to specific specimens.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.

 

Plasma/Serum Isolation

Approximately 2-4ml of plasma or serum will be isolated from each 10ml tube of blood. Samples delivered to our labs are processed as quickly as possible upon arrival and completion of accessioning. Plasma/Serum isolates will be aliquoted in 1ml tubes and stored in –80°C freezers.

Sample Requirements

Plasma – 10mL whole blood in “Purple top” (K3EDTA) vacutainer vial.
Serum – 10mL whold blood in “Red top” (no anticoagulant) vacutainer vial.

Reporting of Results

Plasma isolations will be completed within 10 business days upon receipt of sample. Investigators (or those listed as contacts) will have access to reports that will include the sample ID issued by the research team, the BSF ID, and the status of the sample.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.

 

Isolation and Cryo-preservation of White Blood Cells

White blood cells (buffy coat) from a 10ml tube of blood will be isolated, stored in 2 cryo-vials and frozen in two separate alarm monitored liquid nitrogen freezers. Price includes up to 1 year of storage. Long-term storage is available at an additional cost. DNA preparation is available from buffy coat at the DNA prep rates listed in the price table.

Specimen Requirement

Whole Blood – 8-10mL of whole blood collected in a “Yellow top” (ACD) vacutainer vial.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.

 

Sample Plating

Samples will be arrayed into a 96 well plate format using an automated liquid handling robot and normalized to the requested concentration. The first plate of each array created is considered a "Master Plate"(94 samples/plate). All partial plates (<94 samples) will be charged the price of a full plate. We will visually inspect the plates to ensure volume is present in each well. The plate record will be made available to you in Excel format along with the sample IDs provided by the researcher.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.

 

Sample Retrieval

We can retrieve samples from storage from your supplied requests via GIGPAD.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.

 

The Healthy Volunteer Specimen Bank (HVS)

The HVS is a collection of 300 samples from healthy volunteers of varying age, gender, and ethnicity. The samples in the HVS repository were collected by the Clinical Research Program of the MGH, PHS and PCPGM all of whom underwrote the expense of gathering the samples and subsequent processing to form the collection. All samples in the set of approximately 350 anonymous subjects are accompanied by a data set including a basic physical exam of the participants and information on age, gender, and ethnicity. Samples were collected under IRB Protocol # 2002P-000657. The collection consists of transformed cell lines, DNA, and serum. In addition, all samples are accompanied by extensive data available on medical and family history as well as ethnicity information. The data includes fields such as height and weight, level of fitness, tobacco and alcohol use, medication history, pregnancy history, etc.

The purpose of this collection is to provide a readily available resource of low cost samples for PHS affiliated investigators to use in experiments where an "unaffected" set of samples is required as controls or reference values. This resource is not available to non-Partners researchers.
Access to any overview of data about these samples requires registration in the Partners Research Portal. You may use the link to the Portal on the navigation bar on the left of this web page, or you may click here. Our aim is to add data to the accompanying database that holds phenotypic and genotypic information for these samples as more research is done using this collection. Use of these samples does not require a separate IRB approval. However, the IRB must be notified of the intention to use these samples as controls in an IRB approved research study. This can be submitted as part of an original protocol or as an amendment to an existing protocol. Scientists who receive specimens from the PCPGM HVS Repository must be aware of and follow all applicable Federal and hospital biosafety regulations related to the use of these specimens.

Samples of DNA from this collection (TERMS OF USE) may be received as whole sets or subsets stratified by age, gender, or ethnicity.

Samples of Serum from the Healthy Volunteers are available on a limited reviewed basis. This more stringent process for access to Serum is necessitated by the irreplaceable nature of the Serum samples. All clients interested in access to the Serum collection should be in contact with Dr. William F. Crowley Jr. at MGH.

Pricing

Please refer to our Pricing Chart.