You are here

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

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, 561, 633 nm lasers

14 colours
Cytek Aurora

355, 405, 488, 561, 640 nm lasers

62 colours

Plate sampler
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

Zeiss LSM 900

405, 488, 561, 594, 640 nm lasers

Incubation chamber for live cell imaging, super resolution capable Airyscan2

Dragonfly Spinning Disk Confocal

405, 488, 561, 638, 685nm lasers  

Dual camera, motorized stage, Incubation chamber for live cell imaging


7 colour solid state excitation system

Motorized 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

Group email:

Book Instrumentation online here

The state-of-the art Centre, led by 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


  • 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

Group Email

The Animal Ethics Committee is constituted by the MCRI Executive with authority to approve and monitor all animal based research at The Melbourne Children's Campus. The AEC is guided by the Terms of Reference provided by the MCRI Executive Committee, such Terms being supported by legislative requirements.

In Victoria, the use of animals for research and teaching is regulated by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019.

Under the POCTA, the conduct of Scientific Procedures using animals in Victoria must be licensed by the regulating authority, Animal Welfare Victoria - Agriculture Victoria, Dept Jobs Precincts & Regions, and within the parameters prescribed by the current Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. An obligation to respect animals underpins the code.

The AEC support opportunities that promote the development and use of techniques to replace the use of animals in scientific and teaching activities, and, encourage staff to look to refinement of methods and procedures.

Link: Terms of Reference

'Animal welfare' means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives.

An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress.

Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling and humane slaughter/killing. Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment."

Source: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health)