Research Cell Bank Services

Biorepository Services and Biospecimen Processing

The Research Cell Bank at Fred Hutch houses two biorepositories — the International Histocompatibility Work Group Biorepository and the Hematopoietic Cell Therapy Research Cell and DNA Bank. We maintain these biorepositories ourselves, and every year, we process hundreds of orders. We also offer customizable large-volume biospecimen processing services and services in cell immortalization and mycoplasma testing.


Biorepositories  |  Services

Schedule With Us

To schedule services with the Research Cell Bank, or to get more information about how we can work with you, view our rates and scheduling page.

To order materials from a biorepository, review the information provided on this page.

Please note that all orders must be accompanied by a purchase order number or notification of the intent to pay via credit card (contact Shared Resources Billing for credit card payment set up).  If you have not provided such information by the date of shipment, your order may be delayed.


Expand All
International Histocompatibility Work Group (IHWG) Biorepository

This repository of HLA reference standards comprises more than 1,000 B-lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from past IHWG workshops. Find more information about the IHWG collection, including ordering instructions, on the Fred Hutch IHWG website.

Hematopoietic Cell Therapy Research Cell and DNA Bank (HCT-RCB)

The HCT-RCB is a centralized repository of biospecimens established and maintained to support research projects within the Fred Hutch Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Program. Specimens include peripheral blood and bone marrow mononuclear cells, B-lymphoblastoid cell lines immortalized in-house, and DNA. Samples are only available for distribution internally to Fred Hutch investigators and members of the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium. To place an order or request more information about the HCT-RCB, contact the Research Cell Bank

Lorem ipsum


Expand All
Processing Large-Volume Biospecimens

We work with investigators to perform Ficoll separation to isolate mononuclear cells in peripheral blood and bone marrow, typically in volumes of 40 mL or greater. We cryopreserve the resulting cells for short- or long-term storage. We can also isolate plasma and serum from these samples at additional cost.

DNA Extraction

We extract DNA using various salting out techniques. We can extract from whole blood, peripheral mononuclear cells, B-lymphoblastoid cells, bone marrow, tissues (frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded), buccal brushes, swabs and Oragene. The extraction procedure varies by sample type, allowing us to obtain the highest quality and the largest yield possible. We then use Picogreen or Qubit to measure the DNA quantity, and we assess the optical density A260/A280 via Nanodrop to measure the quantity and quality. Agarose gel can offer an additional measure of quality. DNA remains as stock, or we can prepare a specific concentration you require.

RNA Extraction

We provide RNA extraction from a wide variety of starting materials, including Paxgene, tissues, cells, blood (buffy coats), serum/plasma, FFPE, globin mRNA depletion and bone marrow. We provide the A260/A280 ratio and concentration for RNA isolation and determine quality using Agilent’s TapeStations. We also offer macrodissections using FFPE samples.


We provide -80°C and liquid nitrogen storage for both small- and large-scale storage needs. The state-of-the-art repository is located within controlled space within Fred Hutch's Fairview Freezer Facility. The repository was designed to promote the safe handling, receipt, processing and storage of biological specimens. We have controlled access to the freezer facility and freezers. 

Samples are stored within a vapor-phase liquid nitrogen freezer system with annual validation of all components, bulk supply of liquid nitrogen, 72-hour backup and emergency electrical power backup circuitry.

Our -80°C specimens are housed within Stirling ultra-low freezers with 24/7 monitoring, emergency electrical power backup circuitry, Seattle City Light-supplied power sources for backup power, a backup generator if both power sources from Seattle City Light fail and annual freezer calibration performed by Precision Mechanical.

Transformation of B-Cell Lines

Using Epstein-Barr virus, we can attempt immortalization of B-lymphoblastoid cells from mononuclear cells isolated from peripheral blood or bone marrow. We use cyclosporine A in this process to inhibit T-cell populations, and we proliferate lines in culture without the use of antibiotics. We generally cryopreserve the cells in short- or long-term storage in concentrations of 5 to 7 million in a 10% DMSO freezing solution.

Mycoplasma Testing

We perform rapid mycoplasma testing using the MycoProbe kit from R&D Systems to test for the most common strains of mycoplasma. We require sample submission by end of day Monday for our tests every Tuesday. If there is a holiday, an inclement weather closure, or another service interruption on Monday and/or Tuesday, we will postpone the testing or post rescheduling information. Learn more about this service in our mycoplasma testing FAQ.

Our mycoplasma assay uses a colorimetric signal amplification system. This plate shows positive and negative results. Photo by Angela Bryce

Questions about our Research Cell Bank services or how to schedule with us?