Facilities and Services

Murdoch Children's boasts world-class facilities, laboratories and research equipment. Our Scientific Services department provides specific expertise and training in flow cytometry, laboratory support, sequenom platform, shipping of laboratory goods and documents and tissue culture.

The below services are available to external researchers.

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute Biobanking Facility forms part of the Melbourne Children’s Bioresource Centre.

Facility staff carry out biospecimen processing, tracking, long term -80°C and liquid nitrogen storage and sample retrieval, following international best practice. The Facility promotes standardised and harmonised approaches to biospecimen processing and storage, whilst recognising the need for flexibility and tailoring to specific study requirements.

The Biobanking Facility works closely with the MCRI Biospecimen Advisory Committee (BAC) to ensure that the needs of researchers on campus are being met by the services offered. Biobanking Facility staff and the BAC are members of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and the Australasian Biospecimen Network Association (ABNA).

The MCRI Biobanking Facility can be contacted at biobanking@mcri.edu.au.

Instrumentation Available

Flow Cytometers  
BD X-20 Fortessa analyser

355, 405, 488, 561, 640 nm lasers

18 colours

HTS plate sampler

Small particle detector
BD LSR II analyser

405, 488, 633 nm lasers

10 colours
BD InFlux cell sorter

405, 488, 561, 640 nm lasers

18 colours

Housed in Class II biohazard hood

6 populations sorted simultaneously

Small particle detector
BD FACSARIA Fusion cell sorter

405, 488, 561, 640 nm lasers

18 colours
4 populations sorted simultaneously
Zeiss LSM 780

355, 405, 488, 561, 594, 640 nm lasers

Motorized stage Incubation chamber for live cell imaging
Dragonfly Spinning Disk Confocal405, 488, 561, 638, 685nm lasers  Dual camera, motorized stage, Incubation chamber for live cell imaging
DeltaVision 7 colour solid state excitation systemMotorized stage Incubation chamber for live cell imaging


Fees for use of the analyser flow cytometers and microscopes by external academics are:

  • $50/hour (unassisted usage)
  • $100/hour (assisted usage)

Assisted cell sorter:

  • $100/hour

Price on application for external non-academic users.


Dr Matt Burton
T +61 3 9936 6124
E matt.burton@mcri.edu.au

Group email: flowimaging@mcri.edu.au

Book Instrumentation online here

The state-of-the art Centre, led by Associate Professor Andrew Davidson, supports clinicians and researchers in initiating and performing trials of new therapies. Clinical trials are essential to explore the effectiveness of promising new therapies, and to determine how existing treatments can be used most effectively.

The MCTC provides support for clinical trials, ranging from trials of novel therapies to large preventative public health trials. The Centre has a dedicated and accredited space for early phase clinical trials and provides ready access to all of the skills needed to ensure a successful study- such as biostatistics, ethics and governance, data storage, health economic expertise and access to bioinformatics and biobanking. Centre staff support each stage from idea inception and study design to managing and completing the trial.

To be a leader in clinical trials, the Trials Centre has invested in developing innovative trial designs and novel use of new technologies such as the new RCH Electronic Medical Record. The MCTC brings new therapies and generates knowledge to better the health of all children.

Visit the Melbourne Children's Trials Centre website


User fees fund the cost of running the facility, and are set on the basis of cost recovery. Fees as of 1 November 2014 for use of nanodispenser RS1000 and Maldi-Tof are:

  • $650.00 plus GST per run* for external academic users**

*Per run indicates the use of RS1000 and Maldi-Tof for transferring and analysing DNA on one chip.
**No fee change since 2009

Price on application for external non-academic users.


Dr Benjamin Ong
T   +61 3 8341 6361
E  benjamin.ong@mcri.edu.au


  • All specimens must have:
    • a referral/patient request slip that is adequately filled in, legible and signed
    • specimen must have appropriate labelling
  • Specimens should never be frozen without cryoprotectant as this kills the cells and makes culturing impossible. 
  • It is also important if transporting these samples to pack them completely separate from any frozen samples i.e. in a separate container.
  • Cultured cells should be sent at room temperature and must not be allowed to freeze.
  • Skin biopsy and post mortem skin samples: Preferred specimen is a 2 to 3mm sample of full thickness skin fully submerged in Skin Biopsy Medium. Other suitable media such as Viral Transport Media or Normal Saline may be used.
  • Skin Fibroblasts in Culture: One or two 25cm2 flasks of cells at a low passage number (preferably) and at about 70 to 80% confluence. Flasks should be completely filled with media for transport and caps sealed with Parafilm. Cells for mitochondrial enzymology should preferably be grown in media containing 50ug/ml Uridine and 1mM pyruvate.
  • Blood for EBV transformation of lymphocytes or lymphocyte storage: 8 to 10mls of venous blood with either Heparin or EDTA as anticoagulant.
  • Cultures of Lymphoblasts: A tube or flask of cells is required containing several million cells.
  • Amniotic and Chorionic Villus Cultures: These samples are treated in the same way as fibroblast cultures but using media designed for the optimum growth of amniocytes (Amniomax C100).

Information Requirements

  • Patient name
  • Medical record number
  • Date of birth
  • Date of sample
  • Delay between death and collection if relevant
  • Billing address and delivery address for the cells to be sent for diagnostic purposes
  • Human Ethics approval required for research purposes


For further information and user fees:

Mrs Lucy Perez
T +61 3 8341 6230
E: lucy.perez@mcri.edu.au

Group Email  tissueculture@mcri.edu.au