The National Biosample Centre

Established by the NIHR in 2014, and operated by UK Biocentre as a not-for-profit organisation, the facility provide world leading sample management and high capacity bioprocessing. The National Biosample Centre extensive and established experience gained by UK Biobank.

They make extensive use of dedicated automation and software systems for consistent and high throughput sample processing and tracking delivering best value for UK medical research. UK Biocentre has no IP on the samples they manage for investigators. They will manage the samples according to the needs of the study. 

They provide the logistical infrastructure allowing investigators to deliver their study objectives. and operates the ethos that medical research always comes first. If you would like to use the facility for storing GOSH/ICH samples, please see sample storage below which will provide guidance, costs and a request form. Otherwise the facility's additional services can be found further down below:

Sample Storage

NIHR NBC helps your project through:
  • Large scale sample storage at 4 °C, ‐20°C, ‐40 °C, ‐80°C and ‐196 °C.
  • High speed robotic sample picking capability from automated stores.
  • Supporting manual freezer and LN2 tank storage for clients needing to "off‐site" collections.
  • Providing a back up facility for valuable collections.
  • Tracking storage locations via a dedicated LIMS.
  • Backed up power and refrigeration systems with 24/7 Facilities Team callout.

Sample Collection Kits

NIHR NBC helps your project by:

  • Assembling sample collection packs with collection tubes, unique barcodes and participant/patient report forms tailored to your project.
  • Shipping packs to your clinics on demand.
  • Configuring web‐based receipting tools ensuring secure and anonymised linkage to subjects.
  • Developing on‐line project reporting tools to help researchers monitor project progress and quality.
  • Providing sample shipping information to help researchers track their samples.

Sample Logistics

NIHR NBC helps your project by:
  • Advising on optimal sample shipping frequency and format.
  • Providing all necessary compliant packaging and shipping containers.
  • Arranging and managing courier collections for samples.
  • Transfer of whole sample collections/freezers.
  • Transfer of nitrogen tanks from researchers’ sites or clinics.
  • Providing whole‐journey temperature reports for samples.

Sample Processing

NIHR NBC helps your project by:
  • Providing sample processing services based on your needs and sample types.
  • Samples can be processed either manually or on our automated systems to suit complexity and/ or throughput.
  • Creating a complete audit trail within LIMS.

DNA/RNA Extraction - Nucleic Acid Services

DNA Extraction Services

UK Biocentre has fully automated DNA extraction platforms to allow large scale processing from the following:

  • All volumes of blood up to 10ml
  • Buffy coat samples up to 1ml
  • Isohelix saliva samples
  • Oragene saliva samples
  • Tissue

RNA Extraction Services

UK Biocentre has fully automated and semi-automated platforms for RNA extraction from:

  • Blood samples
  • Tempus stabilised blood samples
  • PAXgene stabilised blood samples
  • Tissue samples

Freezer and Tank Management

NIHR NBC helps your project through:
  • Providing large scale tank and freezer management services for clients needing to "off‐site" collections.
  • Providing a back up facility for valuable collections.
  • Tracking storage location via a dedicated LIMS.
  • Providing backed up power and refrigeration systems with 24/7 Facilities Team callout.
  • On demand cherry picking of sample orders and dispatch of samples.

Sample Picking and Shipping

NIHR NBC helps your project through:
  • Manual picking to client supplied pick lists.
  • High speed cherry‐pick of thousands of samples per day from automated archives.
  • Picking performed at ‐20°C to prevent thaw‐freeze effects.
  • Tracking picked sample sets via a dedicated LIMS.
  • Use of in‐house randomisation picking algorithms to avoid sample picking bias.
  • Dispatch of samples to world‐wide destinations via cold chain courier.
  • Management and reporting of cold chain from sample withdrawal to customer.
  • On demand cherry picking of sample orders and dispatch of samples.
  • In‐house randomisation picking algorithms to avoid sample bias.

Study Design

NIHR NBC helps your project through:
  • Advising on labware types suitable for your processes.
  • Designing sample processing and output schemes.
  • Designing and piloting of processes and systems for 'end‐to‐end' studies.
  • Supporting grant applications with developed costs, timelines and processes.

A full costings of the services provided by UK Biocentre can be found below:

NIHR National Biosample Centre Costs (44.16 KB) 

If you would like to inquire or request a quote, please contact them directly on +44 (0)190 887 0800 or information@ukbiocentre.com

Alternatively the BRC are running a call for projects (reviewed quarterly, next deadline for applications is June 10th, 2019) which, if successful, will provide funding for storage usage at UK Biocentre. Information about this BRC call can be found at the link below:

https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/our-research/our-research-infrastructure/nihr-gosh-brc/funding-and-opportunities/nihr-gosh-brc-national-biosample-centre-call-projects