RNA Extraction Service

The UWBC Gene Expression Center is a BSL2 laboratory.

The following materials are not accepted:
1) Cells administered pathogenic and/or recombinant microbes or biological toxins
2) Tissues containing pathogenic and/or recombinant microbes or biological toxins
3) Samples that require handling beyond BSL2 containment

We provide RNA extraction services for whole blood, bacteria, and mammalian tissue. We follow a variety of published and vetted extraction protocols dependent on the specific sample type. Not all sample types behave the same when following our tissue specific protocols and a few extraction attempts may be necessary before successfully yielding high quality RNA. We highly recommend that you schedule a meeting with us to discuss your project and specific sample type before submission.

We perform the following checks to assess the RNA quality of each extracted sample.

  1. Spectrophotometry with the NanoDrop One – We look for A260/A280 ratios between 1.8-2.1 and A260/A230 ratios at ~2.0-2.2 to indicate pure nucleic acid.
  2. Integritywith the Agilent Bioanalyzer or Tapestation- RIN values >7

Quotes are provided upon request. Please contact gecinfo@biotech.wisc.edu for your quote today.  Costs vary depending on sample type and extraction method employed.

Please use the UWBC Request Portal to request our RNA Extraction Service.

Please contact gecinfo@biotech.wisc.edu prior to sample collection.

Depending on sample type, we may request 2-3 representative samples for optimization purposes.

Samples are processed in the order they are received.

Sample Recommendations

  1. Tissue– snap freezing in liquid nitrogen followed by storage at -80C is preferred.  We request tissue samples be submitted in an Eppendorf 2.0mL Safe-Lock tube (Catalog no. 022363344) to minimize tissue handling.  Additional handling fees may apply if tissue transfers are necessary.  If you do not have the Eppendorf 2.0mL Safe-Lock tubes, please contact us.
  2. Cells (minimum recommended 1×106 cells)- spin down the cells in an Eppendorf 2.0mL Safe-Lock tube (Catalog no. 022363344), wash pellet with ice-cold PBS, snap-freeze pellet and store at -80C.   Cells must be submitted in 2.0mL Safe-tube tubes as pellet transfers are difficult and often result in lost material.  If you do not have Eppendorf 2.0mL Safe-tube tubes, please contact us.
  3. Blood– we recommend either the PAXgene (Qiagen) or  Tempus (Thermo Fisher) collection tubes.  Please following processing directions as written for each sample collection.


If snap freezing of tissue/cells is not possible, preservation reagent such as RNAlater or other may be used, but please ensure to follow the protocol as written.  Samples stored at -80C in preservation reagent often have salt carryover in the extracted RNA.

Shipping Guidelines

Tissue/Cells must be shipped overnight on dry ice in Eppendorf 2mL Safe-Lock tubes (catalog no. 022363344).   Tubes must be clearly labeled with sample name (10 characters- alpha or numeric & “-“ ONLY) on lid and PI & date on the side.  Tubes should be contained in a 96-well box in a sealed plastic bag.

Blood tubes must be shipped overnight according to the manufacturer instructions.  Blood tubes must be contained in a shipping box sealed in a biohazardous bag. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES WILL RESULT IN THE RETURN OF PACKAGE AT CLIENTS’ COST PLUS HANDLING CHARGES. Tubes must be deidentified & clearly labeled with sample ID (20 characters- alphanumeric & “-“ ONLY), which must match Sample Submission ID’s.

Shipping address

UWBC Gene Expression Center

425 Henry Mall, room 2330

Madison, WI 53706  USA

Please email the tracking number to  gecinfo@biotech.wisc.edu.  We will confirm receipt of samples.

Sample Type  UW System
 Non UW Sytem Rate
 Setup (Labor & Ancillary Costs)  $1025  $1600
 Per sample  $17  $27
 Cell Pellet Setup (Labor & Ancillary Costs)  $655  $1025
 Per sample  $12  $19

Please contact gecinfo@biotech.wisc.edu for a quote. Cost varies depending on extraction method required to extract good quality RNA from your samples.

All data and services provided by the University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center Gene Expression Center are intended for research purposes only. Services are not intended nor certified for diagnostic or clinical use.