Preparing and sending your samples

Samples for extraction projects can be shipped to LGC, Biosearch Technologies in plates or tubes, and full guidelines can be viewed on our website.

When sending biological samples to Biosearch Technologies, it is important to follow the guidelines below to ensure that your samples arrive in good condition. Failure to do so may result in a delay to your project.

Please ensure that samples are suitably labelled to enable efficient processing in our laboratory.

Infectious materials must be clearly labelled as infectious, regardless of the nature of the pathogen or the origin of the samples. Please provide as much information as possible as to the nature of the infectious status.

Outlined below are guidelines for:

  1. Samples in plates
  2. Samples in tubes
  3. Shipping of samples to Biosearch Technologies

Samples in plates

Plate type

  • Samples can be submitted in 96-well plates
  • 1.2 mL round-bottomed plates are commonly used, and are compatible with Biosearch Technologies’ robotics
  • We can accept a wide range of plate types – please contact us to confirm if your plate type is suitable

Plate sealing

  • Plates must be sufficiently sealed to prevent sample leakage and contamination in transit
    • Use of sticky seals is not sufficient
  • Biosearch Technologies recommends the use of:
    • Heat sealing – use of a thermal weld will ensure that each individual well of the sample plate is sealed
    • Cap strip or cap mat sealing – these provide an individual seal for each well of the sample plate 
  • If the plate seal obscures the well location identifiers, please mark the A1 corner of the plate

Labeling of plates

  • Plates sent to Biosearch Technologies must be barcoded or clearly labelled – please do not use handwritten IDs, but use a labelling machine/typed labels instead
  • Labels must be able to withstand temperatures of -20 ºC
  • The physical plate name must match the name given to the plate in the submitted plate map file
    • Minimum plate name length is 1 character
    • Maximum plate name length is 15 characters
    • Only alphanumeric, underscore or dash characters should be used. (slash / should not be used)

Packaging of plates

  • If you are submitting more than one plate, please ensure that you place a cardboard spacer on the top plate and a cardboard spacer between each plate and on the top plate. This will prevent the bottom of one plate piercing the seal of the plate stacked below it.

Samples in tubes

Tube type

  • We can accept a wide range of standard blood collection tubes
  • We can accept Oragene tubes for saliva samples
  • Samples such as buccal swabs can also be sent in tubes – please contact us to confirm if your tube type is suitable.

Tube sealing

  • Tube lids must be sufficiently sealed to prevent sample leakage and contamination in transit.  
  • For microcentrifuge tubes (e.g. Eppendorf tubes), ideally use Parafilm or similar to securely seal tube lids – please avoid use of sticky tape as this is difficult to remove and delays sample processing in the laboratory

Labeling of tubes

  • Tubes sent to Biosearch Technologies must be individually labelled or 1D/2D barcoded – please do not use handwritten IDs, but use a labelling machine/typed labels instead
  • Labels must be able to withstand temperatures of -20 ºC
  • The individual tube IDs must match the names provided in the sample manifest file (Excel list of tube IDs).  
  • Individual tube IDs should not exceed 15 characters
  • Duplicate sample tube IDs must be identified in the sample manifest file – please advise Biosearch Technologies if duplicate samples are to be treated individually or as part of the same sample. Failure to do this will result in delays to the start of your project as samples cannot be processed through the laboratory until they are all uniquely identified
  • Do not include patient IDs or dates of birth on samples as this contravenes patient confidentiality

Packaging of tubes

  • Tubes should be sent to Biosearch Technologies in racks, with samples in the same order as listed in the sample manifest file. This enables received samples to be easily checked against the manifest, and any missing samples to be identified quickly and efficiently.


Please notify Biosearch Technologies in advance when you are preparing to ship samples. The sample receipt team will then know to expect your samples, and can ensure that they are quickly tracked to the correct project in our database.

When shipping samples, please include your contact details in the package and your unique project number – we receive large numbers of packages each week and comprehensive labelling will ensure that your samples are processed quickly.

For shipment of biological material to our laboratory sites in the UK and Germany, region specific conditions apply. Biosearch Technologies’ customer support can advise what conditions apply for your shipment, and support you in complying with these conditions. To prevent delays and potential loss of your samples, please contact Biosearch Technologies’ customer support before you ship your samples.

Please follow the shipping conditions guidelines in the table below, according to your sample type.

Sample type Recommended shipping conditions
Cultured cells*, tissue*/tissue lysate Dry ice
Blood (buffy coat/plasma/serum etc) Dry ice or wet ice
Buccal swabs, FTA paper Dried, at room temperature
Dried/ground plant material Room temperature
Fresh plant material Dry ice or wet ice
Saliva with stabilisation reagent Room temperature
Saliva without stabilisation reagent  Dry ice
* RNA is susceptible to degradation, therefore it is recommended that samples sent for RNA extraction should be preserved using RNAlater® or similar product or flash frozen with liquid nitrogen and shipped on dry ice to ensure that they remain frozen until extraction is performed. The preferred method of preservation depends on the sample type. Please contact our specialists for help selecting the correct method of preservation. ( or +49 (0)30 5304 2200).