How to ship your samples
Find everything you need to know about shipping your samples to us on this page. Read our requirements and recommendations carefully.
Submit your samples online
Before you ship your samples or plates, please submit them via our online sample submission form. By doing this, we know that we can expect your samples soon. In addition, the info is required for processing in our lab.
We do not process samples or plates that do not have a completely filled out submission form.
Having troubles submitting your samples? Please contact us. We’re always happy to help.
The following is required for every package:
- Ship samples only at Monday or Tuesday
To prevent the package from getting stuck over the weekend, please only send your package out on a Monday or Tuesday.
- Ship samples with sufficient dry ice
Approximately 2.5-3 kg dry ice per day of shipping is the standard, but with warm temperatures, it is advisable to add more dry ice. In addition, make sure you use a box that is not too big. A large void can cause dry ice to evaporate quicker.
- Make sure the samples are sufficiently secured
Unfortunately, it is possible that the package is handled roughly during transit, even with proper warnings on the box. We see this quite often. Please secure the samples so they cannot move around the box too much. For more information about the specific packing of cell capture plates and Eppendorf tubes see below.
- Add proper documentation to the package
Please add the excel sheet from the sample submission form to your package, so we can identify the samples quickly and without issues. When the package has to clear customs, we recommend adding a letter to the package with all the information on the contents. In our experience, this usually helps to clear a package (quicker). You can download our customs letter template here.
Packing requirement for cell capture plates
To ensure that plates arrive in good condition, please follow these tips & tricks on top of the general requirements:
- Seal the plate covers well
Always make sure the plate covers are sealing the wells of the plate well to prevent the transfer of material from one well to the other during rough transport. Please don’t use plastic seals, as they tend to release from the plates at extreme cold. Only use the aluminium plate seals that were provided with the plate order.
- Do not use a shipping box that is too large
The larger the box, the more space the plates have, to be jostled around. If you do not have a smaller shipping box, try to “lock” the plates in place by putting empty tip boxes, or something similar, around them.
- Secure the cell capture plates well within the package
- Tape the plates together using (dry ice compatible) tape. Elastic bands don’t work as they become brittle due to the cold temperatures.
- Never store plates loose in the dry ice. Instead, store the plates together in a standard cardboard Eppendorf box (plastic is not flexible enough) without the insert, or in a plastic (zip-lock) bag.
- Make sure the plates are placed with the sealed side up
Please make sure the plates are with the wells down/sealed side up within the package, to ensure that the contents stay at the bottom of the wells.
- Put the plates at the bottom of the package
Dry ice evaporates over time. It might seem that the plates are well secured within the dry ice when you pack them, but if the plates are at the top of the package they will start to move around once some dry ice has evaporated and they get more space. Try to start the package with a small layer of dry ice. Put your plates on top of that in the center of the box. Then fill the remainder of the package with dry ice, so dry ice sits on all sides around the plates. This way the plates will only start moving around when a lot of dry ice has evaporated.
Packing requirements for Eppendorf tubes
To ensure that the tubes arrive in good condition, please follow these tips & tricks on top of the general requirements:
- Use screwcap tubes
Screwcap tubes are the safest tubes to ship your precious sample, as it is less likely the lid will open. If you do not have screwcaps; close the tubes tightly, and seal the tubes by tightly wrapping parafilm around the individual tubes.
- Check if your tubes are closed well
Always make sure all the tubes are properly closed. Tubes may open during rough transport, especially when lids are not fully closed.
- Mark your tubes
Be careful with markers, especially when transporting cells in methanol, as the ink can be washed away by the methanol. Therefore please mark your tubes on top AND on the side. Write clearly and with a suitable cryomarker. Printing your labels is preferred, with specialized cryo labels, but we understand that not everyone has access to such labels and printers. Be careful with tough spots, as the normal tough spots will release from the tubes at extreme cold. You can think about making a picture of the tubes once they are ready for shipment. This way you have a backup for the labeling in case the ink washes away during the shipping.
- Secure the tubes well within the package
Use a cardboard Eppendorf box (plastic is not flexible enough) with insert, to protect the tubes during rough transport. Make sure the box is upright and not on its side, and that it has a lid.
- Do not use a shipping box that is too large
The larger the shipping box, the more space the Eppendorf box with the tubes has to be jostled around. If you do not have a smaller shipping box, try to “lock” the Eppendorf box in the middle by putting empty tip boxes, or something similar around it.
- Put the tubes at the bottom of the package: dry ice evaporates over time. It might seem that the Eppendorf box with tubes is well secured within the dry ice when you pack it, but if the box is at the top of the package it will start moving around once some dry ice has evaporated and it gets more space. Try to start the package with a small layer of dry ice. Put the Eppendorf box on top of that in the center of the box. Then fill the remainder of the package with dry ice, so dry ice sits on all sides around the Eppendorf box. This way the box with the samples will only start moving around when a lot of dry ice has evaporated.
- All tubes that are packed need to be submitted
Any duplicate/triplicate or control samples also need to be recorded within the sample submission form. You can add in the comments whether these tubes should be processed or not. If the tubes are not submitted online, our lab staff won’t know how to handle them.
Shipping via mail (e.g. FedEx)
You can ship your sample(s) to:
Single Cell Discoveries
attn. Lotte Koopman
The price of shipping with FedEx is based on a lot of variables. It is based on your location and there is an extra fee for dry ice, for example. Make sure you are not surprised by costs and check all FedEx pricing info here.
Drop package off at our visiting address
For clients that are located near our lab, it is also possible to drop your sample(s) off at our visiting address in Utrecht. Please make an appointment beforehand, to make sure there will be someone from our team to receive the sample(s). The visiting address is:
Single Cell Discoveries