Shipping Samples to SPIT lab

Contact: spitlab@iastate.edu

****We are currently NOT accepting any shipments at this time due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As soon as business resume as usual in the SPIT lab, we will update this page. In the meantime, please reach out to us via our email contact for any questions.****

All sample shipments can be sent to the following address:

Shipping & Packaging Instructions for Saliva/Urine/Serum/Plasma Samples

  • Use twist cap vials or microvials (do NOT use snap-cap vials)
  • Only send frozen samples in vials properly labeled
  • Make sure each vial is labeled clearly with ultrafreezer-resistent markers (do NOT use basic Sharpie permanent markers) OR with preprinted microvial labeler (do NOT label vials with paper stickers or scotch tape)
  • (Optional) Ask for preprinted vial labels to be shipped to you by contacting spitlab@iastate.edu
  • Make sure each vial is tightly sealed to prevent any leakage during shipment
  • Place vials in a secure cell-holder box to prevent samples from moving during shipment (see example 1)
  • For urine samples, place samples in a secure sectional to prevent samples from shifting around during shipment (see example 2)
  • Label cell-holder box(es) properly by study name, PI, date of shipment, and box number
  • Send an electronic copy to spitlab@iastate.edu of vial location (vial ID numeric/alphabet) of each cell in cell-holder box
  • Secure the cell-holder box by taping outside or use rubber bands
  • Ship cell-holder box(es) in an insulated shipper with enough dry ice (do NOT use regular ice) that can last an overnight delivery (see example 3)
  • Seal the insulated shipper tightly to prevent any release of air or air entering
  • Ship insulated shipper in a cardboard box properly labeled with shipping and return addresses
Example 1. Example cell-hold box for microvials
Example 2. Example of cell-holder box for urine cups
Example 3. Example of insulated shipper and cardboard box

Shipping & Packaging Instructions for Hair Samples

Do:

  • Place hair samples in a foil packet (see examples).
    • For longer hair, loop the sample without bending the hair sharply (see example 1 “do” & 9 “don’t”).
    • Clearly delineate the scalp end of the hair by banding the hair near the scalp end, noting the scalp end marker on the foil, or preferably both (see example 1 & 2).
  • Fold the foil packet such that it makes an envelope over the hair (see example 3).
  • Label the foil envelope with all relevant sample information (see example 4).
  • Place the hair sample in a manila envelope for shipping. If sending less than 15 samples please use a padded envelope.  
  • Label the envelope with all relevant sample information (see example 5).
  • Keep the sample at room temperature.
  • Label samples in a clear and legible manner.
    • Please include participant biological sex when possible.
  • Please use a tracked shipping method.

Do not:

  • Please do not place a label over the edge of the foil (this will have to be cut and participant information will be lost) (see example 6).
  • Please do not tape, glue or otherwise use adhesives to attach the hair to the foil (see example 7 & 8).
  • Please do not use biohazard bags or any bags that is air tight (to prevent condensation).
  • Please do not ship hair with Saliva.
Example 1. Good example of long hair
Example 2. Good example of short hair
Example 3. Example of foil envelope
Example 4. Example of labeled foil envelope
Example 5. Example of envelope
Example 6. Wrong example of sealed foil envelope
Example 7. Wrong example of taped long hair
Example 8. Wrong example of taped short hair
Example 9. Wrong example of over-bent long hair