Biological Material Storage Services

Protect your valuable biological material with our trusted range of storage services.

An off-site back-up of important strains should be a central part of any risk management and disaster recovery plan for organisations using microbes that cannot easily be replaced.

Fire, natural disasters, power failure, equipment malfunction, and human error can all result in devastating set-backs for R&D projects, and the loss or delay of publication and potential future commercialisation opportunities.

For more than 50 years, NCIMB has been managing and maintaining the largest depository of industrially useful and environmental bacteria in the UK, the National Collection of Industrial Food and Marine Bacteria. Since 1982 we have been recognised around the world as a depository for biological material that is the subject of patent applications. We have built on that knowledge, capability and expertise to develop our range of confidential biomaterial storage services.

Storage service tailored to scientists working on grant funded projects

Long term storage of microbes at NCIMB protects against strain drift and loss, ensuring that pure cultures of your original strain are preserved and always available for research or commercialisation projects.

Our academic storage package is specifically tailored to the needs of scientists working on grant-funded projects. Getting an up-front quote for preservation and storage with NCIMB means that costs can be included in funding applications. To make this easier a single payment can be made for up to five years storage, and we offer discounted rates when you commit to several years storage at a time.

What we store

At NCIMB we accept biological material up to ACDP category 2 and ACGM class 1. 

We can store:

  • Bacteria
  • Plasmids
  • Bacteriophage
  • DNA
  • Protozoa
  • Fungi
  • Algae
  • Orthodox plant seeds
  • Plant cell tissue cultures

Quality assurance

Want a service you can rely on? At NCIMB we have decades of experience in the preservation and storage of biological materials.  Our well-established quality management system certified to ISO 9001:2015, and all our services meet this internationally recognised standard, so you can be confident your important material is in safe hands.

Storage temperature options

Vapour phase liquid nitrogen < -120°C
Ultra low temperature -70°C to -90°C
Low temperature -15°C to -20°C
Refrigerated storage 2°C to 8°C

Preparation for storage

Biological material can be sent to us ready for immediate storage, or prepared by us in a number of formats, including freeze drying. We can also freeze dry cultures and return them to you.

We can undertake viability testing of material prior to storage if required, and at agreed intervals thereafter.  An annual report on the maintenance of stored products can also be provided.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.