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Biospecimen Processing, Preservation, & Shipping

The processing of biospecimens varies according to the protocol of each individual investigator.

Specimens can be:

  • Frozen - Frozen tissue is snap-frozen in LN2 or frozen in cryo-embedding media such as OCT and stored at liquid nitrogen or -80° C temperatures until shipped.
  • Fresh - Fresh tissue can be minced or intact and placed in transport media of choice or saline, and shipped for next day arrival.
  • Fixed - Provided in a fixative of choice or as paraffin-embedded blocks. Stained or unstained slides can also be provided from either paraffin blocks or as frozen sections. Fixed tissue can also be provided in RNAlater or other investigator-specified preservative, fresh or subsequently frozen.
  • Tissue Microarray slides are also available. For more information on the availability of TMAs, please contact the CHTN Mid-Atlantic Division, Pediatric Division or Western Division.

Specimens are shipped following IATA guidelines and under conditions appropriate to the preparation process used.

  • Frozen biospecimens stored at ultra-low temperatures may be batch or individually shipped to investigators on dry ice.
  • Fresh biospecimens ship the day of collection refrigerated or at room temperature for delivery early the next morning.
  • Special arrangements can also be made for delivery of specimens over the weekend.