General Guidelines for All Samples:
  1. First-time users are encouraged to discuss their project and the sample submission process with the core manager or director before preparing their samples. We can best help you to design experiments that will take optimal advantage of our resources, if we can make suggestions early in the process.
  2. All users have to use iLab ( to request services and should contact us prior to sending or bringing samples to ensure that someone will be available to receive them.
  3. On-campus users have to supply a City of Hope account number while Off-campus users must provide a purchase order number when placing the service request in iLab.
  4. A filled sample submission form in iLab must accompany all submitted samples.
  5. New outside users will have to submit a short description of project, initialed T&Cs and a purchase order number for the amount quoted through iLab for the service requested prior to approval of service and sample submission.
Specific Guidelines for Gel Bands:
What to provide:
Each protein gel band that you submit should be excised using a clean disposable cutting tool, placed in a clean micro-centrifuge tube, and legibly labeled with a unique identifier. When submitting a large batch of gel bands, you may place them into 96 well plates, and provide an appropriate sample list. In addition to your samples and the iLab sample submission form, please include:
  1. A clearly indicated gel blank for each physical gel. The gel blank should be from a region of the gel that has no protein in it, either from between two lanes or (ideally) from a lane that was loaded only with loading buffer. The gel blank will be analyzed as a control.
  2. A picture of the gel with marked positions of the excised gel bands.
  3. All other information about your samples, such as the organism from which the protein is purified, preparation method, identity and sequence of proteins you expect to find should be included on the submission form in iLab.
Avoiding contamination:
Gels should be handled in a way that avoids contamination. Common causes of contamination include:
  1. Contact with hair or skin. Keratin is by far the most common contaminant. Wear gloves and a lab coat whenever you work with a gel. Wear a hair net if you have long hair. Carry out as many procedures as possible in a laminar flow hood. Avoid wearing woolen clothes such as pullovers when processing gels.
  2. Contact with latex gloves. Use nitrile gloves instead.
  3. Autoclaved labware. Do not use autoclaved labware. Instead use plastic labware straight from the manufacturer’s packaging without any additional treatment.
  4. Contaminated containers. Never stain a gel in a container that has been used for Western blotting. The best choice is to use disposable plastic containers.
  5. Old razor blades or dirty cutting surfaces when excising gel bands. Use a new razor blade, scalpel, or disposable gel cutter and either a disposable plastic surface or a freshly cleaned glass surface to cut on. A razor blade or scalpel should be cleaned between each gel band you cut out.
Specific guidelines for small molecules (metabolites, lipids, phospholipids, etc)
These will vary depending on the chemical nature of your analyte and the purpose of the analysis, and will be determined during your consultation with the manager or director.
  • For quantitation on the triple quadrupole pure samples of your analytes and their stable isotope version (identical chemical structure with a heavier stable isotope also called internal standard) will be required for absolute quantitation. For relative quantitation an internal standard with similar structure as the analyte can be used.
  • Quantitation of any compounds not previously measured in the MS facility requires method development prior to analysis. For such projects an analytical column and appropriate guard column will be required to be purchased.
Specific guidelines for nanoelectrospray (nanoESI) analysis of small molecules and peptides
All nanoESI samples must be pre-purified and free of non-volatile salts (such as phosphate, chloride, etc), non-volatile solvents such as DMSO or detergents. A negative control (blank) may also be required. Please contact the facility for sample specific information..
Specific guidelines for oligonucleotides
All oligonucleotide samples submitted must be HPLC purified and desalted using a cation exchange resin. Contact the facility for more information.
Bringing or Sending Samples
For City of Hope employees: please submit an appropriate request through iLab then bring your samples in person.
For outside users: please submit an appropriate request through iLab. If you are not able to bring your samples in person, you may ship them using an overnight delivery service such as Fed Ex, UPS, etc. Please package your samples with freeze packs or dry ice to keep them cold, and be sure to label the packages “freeze on arrival” so that our receiving department keeps them cold after delivery. Avoid sending samples on Thursday or Friday to minimize the chance that the samples will remain undelivered and at room temperature over a weekend. Please email us the sample information, including tracking numbers, once you have sent it.

Please contact us should you have trouble with iLab or are unsure which service you would need. You could also request a consultation through iLab, by phone or e-mail.