Sample Handling Guidelines

Sample Handling Guidelines

Shipping Preparation:

  1. All samples must be labeled according to the Sample Collection Guidelines.
  2. Microbiome Insights needs to have both the Study Information document and Sample Identification document in hand prior to receiving your samples. These forms are provided by Microbiome Insights.
  3. Please package your samples in the same order as the ID’s listed on the Sample Identification sheet. If Microbiome Insights is required to sort and reorder samples prior to extracting, additional fees may result.
  4. Once boxed, frozen samples MUST be shipped on dry ice with enough dry ice to last the duration of transport (see below).
  5. Samples must only be shipped between Mon-Wed to avoid any delays over the weekend which may result in a freeze-thaw cycle.
  6. See shipping address at the bottom of this page.


DNA Extraction (optional)

Microbiome Insights operates in a NGS-focused lab, so extractions at our facility are recommended. If DNA extractions are completed off-site, please provide sample concentrations (using Qubit or PicoGreen; Nanodrop instruments can overestimate sample concentrations), and use water for the final extraction step. Ship 30µl (minimum) per sample of extracted DNA, in water, in 1.5 mL labeled tubes. Extracts must be shipped on dry ice, with enough dry ice to last the duration of transport. 

Devices with buffer:

Samples that are collected using a stabilization buffer for storage at ambient temperatures need not be kept in the freezer unless you will be storing your samples longer that the kit’s stability timeframe outlined by the collection kit manufacturer. Likewise, these samples can be transported to our facility without dry ice UNLESS you are removing them from the freezer to ship. In this case, samples must be shipped on dry ice with enough dry ice to last the duration of transport.

Devices without buffer (dry swabs, plant, soil):

At home /field collection: Household freezers (at -20°C) tend to fluctuate in temperature. Because of this, we recommend that samples be stored in your freezer immediately after collection, and arrangements be made for shipment on dry-ice within 24 hours to your study’s central storage laboratory, or to Microbiome Insights, to be stored in a laboratory grade freezer.  

Clinic Collection: Samples collected at the clinic or central collecting site must be stored at -80°C. When shipping, samples must be on dry ice with enough dry ice to last the duration of transport.

Shipping Instructions:

Carrier paperwork must indicate goods will be claimed by MICROBIOME INSIGHTS to allow for our broker to manage the shipment.

Samples shipping from North America do not need additional paperwork.

If shipping internationally, please include the provided Letter of Importation and the Biosafety Certificate Letter, and complete a waybill in addition to the shipping documents to reduce the likelihood of delays at Customs and Immigrations. Contact us for help completing waybills.

Please send all samples to:

Microbiome Insights Inc.,

Life Sciences Center, UBC

2350 Health Sciences Mall, Ste 4520 / MEPG

Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z3


Storage and Transportation Guidelines (printer friendly version)