Handling and Storage of Cells and Sera: Practical Considerations

Stephen E. Winikoff, Herbert J. Zeh, De Marco Richard, Michael T. Lotze

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses practical considerations for handling and storage of cells and sera. The procedures and protocols for storage should be validated and standardized and tailored to the specific nature of the investigations. Temperature may affect sample stability during sample collection and processing as well as during storage. The sample is ideally separated into different components and stored at the appropriate temperature; for example, DNA may be stored at 4°C for several weeks, at -20°C for several months, and at -80°C for several years. Isolated RNA must be stored at -80°C. Live cells are stable at room temperature for up to 48 h, but must be cultured or cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen at -150°C to remain alive. Serum and plasma require temperatures of -80°C to preserve a large number of soluble components. Citrate-stabilized blood may offer better quality of RNA and DNA and produces a higher yield of lymphocytes for culture. Heparin-stabilized blood, on the other hand, affects T cell proliferation. Collection of whole blood in any type of anticoagulant-containing tubes may induce cytokine production in vitro. The chapter briefly describes early identification of potential biomarkers and conditions for storage, as well as their confidentiality and ownership issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMeasuring Immunity
Subtitle of host publicationBasic Science and Clinical Practice
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780124559004
StatePublished - Dec 30 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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