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PCPGM Biosample Services Facility

Location: Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine, 65 Landsdowne Street, Room 350, Cambridge, MA 02139


The BioSample Services Facility (BSF) provides sample handling and preparation resources to investigators in the Partners research community. Our goal is to efficiently and effectively process specimens enabling the generation of high quality data via down stream processes.

All projects containing subject samples and submitted to the BSF for handling must be IRB approved in advance. All specimens must be entered into our Laboratory Information Management System (GIGPAD) prior to delivery to the BSF.

Our staff will work with you to design an implementation plan that would best fit your research needs.





    • Qiagen Autopure LS ( DNA extraction/purification instrument )

      "For walkaway purification of archive-quality genomic DNA from large-volume samples:

      * Walkaway purification of DNA suitable for archiving
      * Yields of up to 350 µg DNA per 10 ml blood
      * DNA purification from a broad range of sample types and sizes
      * Purification of highly stable DNA ready for use or archiving."


    • Access to the Healthy Volunteer Specimen Bank ( Access service )

      "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."

    • DNA extraction from whole blood, saliva, isolated cell pellet ( Material processing service )

      "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."

    • Isolation and cryo-preservation of white blood cells ( Storage service )

      "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."

    • Lymphoblast transformation ( Material modification service )

      "The BSF Core performs Epstein-Barr virus transformations on whole blood samples for the initiation of lymphoblastoid cell lines."

    • Plasma/serum isolation ( Material modification service )

      "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."

    • RNA extraction from whole blood with PaxGene tubes ( Material processing service )

      "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."

    • Sample plating service ( Material production service )

      "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."

    • Sample retrieval service ( Access service )

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

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    Last updated: 2017-04-17T14:36:39.086-04:00

    Copyright © 2016 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
    The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016