University of Wisconsin–Madison

Assay Services – FAQs

  1. How should I organize my samples before transporting or shipping? That is a very good question. Whatever your research design and sample collection protocol you should always organize your samples in the order you want us to run them, i.e., they should be in a sequence from first to the last. Samples could be run in one or more sets. If a group of samples need to be run as one set, it should be specified. Each sample should be properly and securely labeled and should be kept in suitable sample storage box. Never dump your samples in a container or a container with ice or dry ice. It takes lots of time to organize if there are many samples and may incur extra cost. More importantly, you may lose samples if the labels come off or is not readable. Do not forget to provide a list of your samples (in the same sequence your samples are, from first to the last) as an electronic file. For more information please see our sample preparation page.
  2. How much does it cost to analyze a sample for an analyte of my interest? How could I get the information?The cost is different for different analytes. You should contact one of the staff at Assay Services unit detailing about your analytical needs. We provide three different options: self, full rate, or rapid service. In self service you will perform the laboratory work, but we provide laboratory space, equipment, reagents, consumables and all other things needed. The person doing the work should have some laboratory experience and should be able to perform the work with some guidelines and help. This is normal for researcher or students learning to analyze their own samples for research projects. This option is suitable for students who are interested to have hands on training and experience. Full-service; our most popular option. We analyze your samples and provide you with the results. The cost for these two options is provided as per sample. However when commercial kits are used, we may charge you extra to cover the cost for the whole kit. Express service – The cost is higher. Your samples are given priority and we will perform the work at the earliest time possible.
  3. What are the most command things that delay getting my samples tested?There are some common mistakes that delay samples getting tested and here are the ways to avoid them. There are times where we receive your samples but we don’t have a sample list yet. In order to process your samples we need a list of what samples and in what order you want them tested.  The most common sample list is a simple list in Excel with sample name and any other important information you want to include. See example list.. The samples do not match the sample list either different name on the samples or just not in order. We verify that the samples you sent of the samples on your list when they do not match we have to contact you to find out if you’re sent the wrong samples or if the sample list is wrong. In doing this this can delay getting your samples tested. The best way to avoid this is to sit down with your sample list and samples and make sure they are in order and match your sample list before you send them to us.In order for us to analyze your samples we need to have your grant number/account number. Without this our system will not let us run the analysis. The best way to avoid delay is to include your grant number/account number in your sample list. This way we have it when we need to analyze your data.
  4. What happens to my samples when the analysis is completed? What happens to your samples is up to you. We have three services that we offer. We can send the samples back to you. We can store your samples for up to one year before disposing them. We can dispose of your samples after you’re satisfied with the results.
  5. How do I get my results?We send you your results via email. Commonly, electric spreadsheets are returned with your data and ID.
  6. How do I request samples to be tested?Please see our additional informationrequest service and assay request form.