Biospecimen Processing

The Biospecimen Accessioning and Processing Core at Mayo Clinic provides biospecimen processing services for investigators.

Services provided by Mayo Clinic's Biospecimen Accessioning and Processing (BAP) Core start with a consultation. Trained laboratory staff is available to meet with the study team to consult on study-specific services needed. The consultation can include specimen collection, aliquoting strategy and storage, and provide sample requirements for downstream analysis.

Customer support

The customer support team works with study staff during the study build process to ensure research studies flow smoothly and the appropriate services are performed to meet the goals of the study. Having comprehensive and accurate information about the study requirements before the start ensures studies are built quickly and efficiently and your study starts on the right path. This service includes:

  • Assessing the study requirements for sample processing to determine if the BAP Core can meet study needs.
  • Coordinating the lab manual with BAP Core workflows to ensure the appropriate services are applied.
  • Coordinating clinical lab testing on research samples.

Sample intake (accessioning)

Specimens accessioned in the laboratory are tracked with the Research Laboratory Information Management System (RLIMS), so each specimen is associated with patient data. This accessioning serves as a front door for routing of specimens for downstream services, which includes core laboratories focused on gene expression, genotyping, next-generation sequencing, proteomics and cytogenetics.

Sample processing

Blood and bodily fluids can be centrifuged and fractionated manually or by automation. Reagents can be added to the resulting fractions, which can be stored at ambient temperature or frozen.

Nucleic acid extraction

  • DNA purification: DNA can be purified from fresh or frozen whole blood, white blood cells, frozen or paraffin-embedded tissue, cultured cells, buccal cells, and saliva collected in an Oragene kit. Cell-free DNA extraction from plasma is also available. Total and double-stranded DNA is quantified using a spectrophotometer, and the concentration and volume are tracked in RLIMS.
  • RNA purification: RNA can be purified from whole blood collected in a PAXgene Vacutainer, frozen or paraffin- embedded tissue, and cultured cells. The RNA is quantified using a spectrophotometer, with the quality determined using a Bioanalyzer. The concentration, volume and RNA integrity number are tracked in RLIMS.

Plating and sample transfer

The BAP Core provides project-based plating services depending on the number of samples in the request and the type of container the samples are aliquoted into. Projects must be submitted to the Nucleic Acid Extraction (NAE) Plating and Aliquoting team.

PBMC isolation

The BAP Core performs cryopreservation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and stores them in liquid nitrogen. Samples for PBMC processing are collected in a sodium heparinized (NaHep or green top) blood tube. The study build process includes lab manual review and identification and documentation of the PBMC processing requirements in the protocol spreadsheet. Samples will be routed to the PBMC processing area when accessioning is complete and processed, according to the protocol spreadsheet instructions.