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Sample Handling

Sample handoff can be fraught with difficulty – to make sure samples are not ruined or lost, we’ve developed some guidelines on how best to label, deliver, store and reclaim your samples.

If you are going to courier samples to the C3, PLEASE notify us so we can let you know if the samples do not arrive!

Sample Delivery

Ready for use samples

  • Should be provided in 1.6 mL microcentrifuge (Eppendorf) tubes
  • The owner and identity clearly labelled using permanent marker or easily removed stick on labels
  • Please avoid excess use of scotch tape or parafilm).
  • These samples can be handed directly to the C3 staff, or placed in the Incoming Sample tray in the C3 4 ºC cool room.

Samples via courier

  • Should be provided in labelled 1.6 mL Eppendorf tube(s), placed into a Falcon tube and then packed into an Esky with ice or cold packs.
  • Attach our shipping label (found here) to the outside of the package and fill in the other information and include that inside the package.
  • Avoid water soluble packing – some packing peanuts are made from starch which can turn into a really slimy mess during transit.

Frozen samples

  • Should be delivered in labelled freezer proof (-80ºC) PCR tubes in closed freezer blocks (SSI 5630-T4 IsoFreeze® – available from Interpath), in an Esky containing dry ice.
  • Attach our shipping label (found here) to the outside of the package and fill in the other information and include that inside the package.
  • Avoid long or similar samples names, provide a key code if necessary (e.g. NAME_A = mutated enzyme version 1011 in TBSA, NAME_B = mutated enzyme version 1101).
  • Searching for samples labelled enzyme1101 or enzyme1011 at -80ºC can be difficult, and may result in unintended thawing of your samples.
  • We recommend following this protocol when snap freezing samples.


Samples are allocated a unique ID in the C3 database (five digit numeric) when we set them up, and your sample tubes will be relabeled with the C3 sample ID.  Leftover sample will be stored in the C3 cold room in the sample box labelled with the day the sample was run.  Thus a sample run on the 25th of March would be stored in the cold room in a box labelled “25”

The ID is readily found on the batchload pdf (attached to a completed booking), and is also found in the lower middle panel of See3

The most robust way to refer to an already existing sample is to tell us the sample ID and the date when it was last used.


Samples will be clearly labeled with the 5 digit ID , your username and the date they were used

We will store samples at 4ºC for at least one month after the experiment is completed.  We do not courier samples back to users.

If you would like to collect the remaining sample you can request it here.

Please collect your samples as soon as possible, unless you intend to use them in an additional experiment (e.g. an optimisation) within 31 days.

Samples must be signed out by C3 staff.