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! Try to courier samples to us early in the week, this gives time to chase deliveries if necessary.

Sample Delivery

 Unfrozen, hand-delivered samples

  • Should be provided in 1.6 mL microcentrifuge (Eppendorf) tubes,
  • Labelled clearly as to which sample goes into which subwell
    • e.g. two samples labelled with user name and  ‘1‘ or  ‘2‘ for subwell 1 (top) or subwell 2 (bottom) is clear
  • 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 bar fridge.

Unfrozen samples via courier

  • Should be provided in labelled (as above) 1.6 mL Eppendorf tube(s), placed into a larger centrifuge 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 provided as individual aliquots (50 or 100 µL), which have been snap frozen in PCR tubes (NOT 1.6 mL Eppendorf tubes) then placed into a clearly labelled (name, sample details) 15 or 50 mL centrifuge tube.
  • Only have one sample (many aliquots are OK) in each centrifuge tube.
  • The centrifuge tube(s) should be sent on dry ice in an Esky
  • Fill in the information on this form here
  • Attach our shipping label (found here) to the outside of the package and fill in the other information and include that inside the package.
  • We recommend following this protocol when snap freezing samples.

Freezing Samples at C3

  • Let us know ahead of time that you will be freezing and storing samples with us – you need to show that you have completed cryogenic liquid training before you can freeze down samples in C3
  • Follow these guidelines
  • Fill out this information form before you arrive


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 sample_ID is found in many places: on the completed booking entry; in the batchload summary report; in the lower middle panel of See3; on your sequence history page in the booking software; and on the email that is sent to you on completion of your experiment.



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.