Newcastle Biobanks


Processing Requests


The Central Biobank is equipped to carry out a range of routine and specialised histology services, for both University researchers and external parties, including:

  • Specimen preparation and paraffin embedding
  • Microtome sectioning of paraffin blocks
  • Cryostat sectioning of frozen specimens
  • Slide mounting of specimens
  • Haematoxylin and Eosin staining (H&E)
  • Routine and specialised staining
  • Immunohistochemistry service
  • Immunofluorescence staining

Expert technical assistance is available from the Biobank technicians.

Please contact the Central Biobank to discuss your requirements and to obtain a quotation.


To use any of our processing services please complete our processing request form. 

Slide Scanning and Imaging

The Central Biobank has significant experience and expertise in digital imaging.

The Leica SCN400 Slide Scanner and Autoloader system scans slides containing sections or tissue microarrays and allows remote viewing, management and analysis of the images through a digital pathology management system.

This web-based technology allows researchers to:

  • view digital slides from any workstation 
  • share and discuss digital slides in real time in remote locations by using digital slide conferencing
  • view multiple digital slides concurrently
  • annotate scanned sections using drawing tools
  • organise annotations by person or department by creating annotation layers
  • link annotations or images to create a viewing sequence
  • add text and descriptions to annotations
  • export and import annotations

The system allows sections of each tissue sample, processed in our state of the art processing laboratory, to be available for review worldwide.

Light and fluorescence microscopy facilities are accessible, with photography, image processing and high quality printing, where required.

Microscope imaging

To use any of our processing services please complete our processing request form. 

Blood Separation

Blood separation processes available in our laboratory include:

  • serum separation from whole blood, by centrifugation
  • plasma preparation from serum
  • peripheral blood mononuclear cell isolation (e.g. using LymphoprepTM reagent)
  • plasma isolation for cell-free DNA/RNA preparations (e.g. Streck® blood tubes)

If you require any other processing, please contact us to enquire, as we can usually meet requests.  We can handle individual samples on a casual basis, or undertake large contracts for routine blood processing (e.g. for clinical trials).  

Centrifugation of blood samples

To use any of our processing services please complete our processing request form. 

Nucleic Acid Extraction

Our processing laboratory also offers services for DNA and RNA isolation. You can then collect your DNA or RNA samples immediately, or store them in cryostorage at the Central Biobank until you need them.

Although DNA is not an HTA-relevant material, we treat such derivatives with the same high standards as human tissues and cells. Samples prepared at the Biobank are stored in a nuclease-free environment to help prevent degradation, and our monitored -80˚C freezers will protect your samples from damaging freeze-thaw cycles.

Using the best available methods we extract DNA/RNA from:

  • blood
  • solid tissues
  • buccal swabs
  • urine
  • stool
  • dried blood spots (e.g. Guthrie cards)

After isolation, we carry out DNA or RNA quantification using Nanodrop (Thermo Scientific) or Qubit (Life Technologies).                   

If necessary, a quality report can be generated for customers using an Agilent Bioanalyser 2100. Contact us for details. 

Extracting Nucleic Acids

To use any of our processing services please complete our processing request form.