Sample Handling and Shipping
1. Purpose and scope
In addition to what has agreed otherwise in the Contract, this document sets forth the principal instructions for Customer to handle and ship Samples as required by the Service. In case of any doubt, conflict, missing information or uncertainty of suitability or applicability of these guidelines to Customer’s operating environment and Sample material, Customer is responsible to consult Nightingale and ask for Nightingale’s further instructions in advance to define the Customer specific details for Sample handling and shipping to ensure the quality of the Service. Customer acknowledges that its incompliance with Nightingale’s instructions may affect Nightingale’s ability to provide the Service and/or the Service pricing. All exceptions to the instructions, and their possible effects to the Service, provided by Nightingale must be agreed separately.
2. Notes on Sample collections
For the Service, all standard clinical blood sample collection routines are acceptable. Venous fasting or non-fasting samples are compatible with the Service.
Even though the Service is compatible with all standard clinical blood samples collections, it is recommended to minimise the time of the blood as well as serum and/or EDTA plasma at the room temperature. Also, the prepared samples should be cooled down to -20°C and further to -80°C (or colder, e.g. liquid nitrogen) as soon as possible (preferably on the day of collection).
3. Sample storage requirements
Long-term storage of the Samples must always be -80°C or colder (e.g. liquid nitrogen).
4. Sample volume requirements
The minimum biofluid volume per Sample required by the Service is defined per project basis as in Order Form.
5. Sample container
Several types of vials and containers are accepted. The outer diameter of a vial must be less than 12.5 mm. Screw cap microtubes (0.5 ml, e.g., Sarstedt 72.730.005; or 2 ml, e.g., Sarstedt 72.694.006) would be the most convenient ones. Also, deep 96-well plates (e.g., Nunc U96 DeepWell PP Plate 1.3 ml Well, Nunc 260251) or 96-well format sample storage tubes with screw caps (e.g., FluidX 1.0 ml 66-32034-Z6-L) from several commercial suppliers can be used. Please note that all the sample containers within a study must be similar. If you send the samples on 96-well plates or 96-well format storage tubes, please leave locations A1 and H12 open as we will use those for our quality control samples. In case of any uncertainty of suitability Customer is responsible to verify suitability from Nightingale.
6. Sample identification
Each Sample must be clearly marked with a unique identification code using a barcode and the Samples must be packed in an orderly fashion. If barcode is not available, Customer is required to consult Nightingale for further instructions.
The Sample identification codes must be sent in a table format at the same time as the Samples; one printed list together with the Samples and the file also e-mailed to Nightingale in editable electronic format. In the table, a unique code for each Sample must be given together with the information referring to the placement of the Sample in the package. Codes and Samples must be exactly in the same order.
7. Shipping conditions
It is crucial that the Samples are kept frozen before the shipping and also during the entire period of transportation. To ensure this, a sufficient amount of dry ice must be placed into a Styrofoam box. The Samples must be shipped in the beginning of a week to make sure that they can be received before a weekend. Never send the Samples prior to a bank holiday. Customer is at all times required to get a clearance from Nightingale before shipping.
For domestic shipping in Finland, we recommend using Matkahuolto’s Express Parcel service. For international shipping, please select a service that warrants a delivery within maximum 72 hours from shipping. Based on our experience, we can recommend World Courier.
Please send a tracking code to us as soon as the Samples have been shipped.
8. Mailing address and contact information
Samples will be shipped to Finland. Nightingale will provide the project specific shipping address and contact information to Customer after the respective Order Form has been signed.