Specimen and shipping requirements

Invitae accepts saliva and fresh peripheral whole blood. We also accept DNA that has been isolated in other laboratories, although there are assay limitations for previously-extracted DNA specimens (for details, please see the “DNA” section below).

Please note that we cannot accept DNA specimens for exome or STAT testing at this time.

We offer free kits for blood, saliva, assisted saliva specimen and embryo biopsy collection. Visit our Request a Kit page to learn more. Saliva is the easiest specimen for patients to provide from home and enables results just as accurate as blood.

Test type
Accepted for the following test types:
  • Diagnostic testing (panels and exome)
  • Proactive health panels
  • Carrier screening
Specimen types
Specimen types accepted:
  • Whole blood
  • Cord blood, collected at birth (but not prior to birth)—we recommend that you perform MCC analysis if you have concerns about maternal cell contamination for a given specimen
  • Frozen or partially frozen blood, although deletion/duplication analysis is not guaranteed for these specimens; also note that these specimens will be thawed upon receipt
We are unable to accept:
  • Hemolyzed or clotted blood
  • Blood (or saliva) from patients who have had an allogeneic (non-self donor) bone marrow transplant.
  • Blood (or saliva) from patients who have had an allogeneic (non-self donor) stem cell transplant.
  • Blood (or saliva) from patients who had a blood transfusion less than two weeks prior to specimen collection

Hematologic malignancy:

Results may be affected for blood or saliva samples from patients with hematological malignancies that are actively circulating in the peripheral blood. In such cases, a specimen type not derived from blood or saliva is suggested, such as gDNA from a skin biopsy. Please see the "DNA" tab above for more information and click here to learn more.

VOLUME
For adults:
  • We require a minimum of 3 mL of whole blood per clinical area for adults.
For pediatric cases:
  • We prefer 3 mL per clinical area, but can accept 1.5 mL if necessary.
For newborns/infants:
  • We accept small-volume microtubes (0.5-mL capacity) from capillary blood collection (heel or finger stick). We require 3 full small-volume tubes per clinical area.
Container
Containers accepted:
  • Specimens should be sent in EDTA purple-top or pink-top tubes. We accept both K2EDTA and K3EDTA.
  • Please see the post-mortem specimens tab for details on gray-top tube specimens.
Labeling
Each tube must be labeled with:
  • The patient’s full name
  • One additional unique identifier:
    • Date of birth
    • Medical record number
    • IB number, if placed by submitting clinician
    • Invitae test order ID (RQ#)
    • Medical record number
  • Specimen collection date
The patient name and at least one additional unique identifier written on each tube must match the name and identifier provided when the test order was placed. We recommend including more than one additional unique identifier to ensure a match.
Storage & Stability
We recommend using overnight shipping the same day that the blood is collected.
  • Blood can be kept at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
  • We request that blood is refrigerated no longer than two weeks.
  • Please do not freeze blood as deletion/duplication analysis is not supported for frozen or partially frozen blood.
Documentation
A printed copy of the requisition form must be submitted with the specimen if you're not placing your order through the online portal. You can find and print a copy of the requisition form here. If you're placing an online order, a printed copy of the requisition form is helpful but not required. Please note that notes handwritten on the form will not be processed. If you need to modify your order, please contact client services.
Shipping requirements
Blood should be shipped overnight at room temperature. We recommend including cold packs when shipping from outside the US and Canada in hot weather or if shipping is expected to take longer than overnight to keep the specimen at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 to 46.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Frozen blood should be shipped overnight using cold packs.

To assist with specimen collection and shipping, you can request a free Invitae blood collection kit by submitting our online Request a Kit form.

If you are sending more than one kit in a given day to Invitae, you can include up to four kits into the same FedEx Clinical Pak envelope for your convenience. If multiple kits do not fit well into a single envelope for any reason, please separate them into as many envelopes as needed.

Alternatively, you can send us the specimen in a crush-proof container via FedEx Priority Overnight (in accordance with the FedEx Packaging Guidelines for Clinical Samples). Please contact Invitae’s client services team to obtain the FedEx account number. (Please note that pricing outside the US does not include shipping fees.)
        Shipping address:
        Attn: Client Services
        Invitae Corporation
        1400 16th Street
        San Francisco, CA 94103

Invitae accepts packages Monday through Friday. We recommend that you send your package so that it leaves your facility Monday through Thursday. Please do not request Saturday delivery. Invitae follows the FedEx Holiday Service Schedule.

If you ship your specimen from outside the United States, your shipping carrier will require three copies of a commercial (pro-forma) invoice. A sample invoice is available here. Please be sure to also include a customs declaration form. A sample customs declaration form is available here.
Test type
Accepted for the following test types:
  • Diagnostic testing (panels only)
  • Proactive health panels
  • Carrier screening
Assay limitations
At this time, we cannot accept DNA specimens for exome testing. For panel testing, deletion/duplication analysis is not guaranteed for DNA specimens regardless of tissue source. Deletion/duplication analysis will be attempted for all DNA specimens; however, the success rate varies depending on specimen quality. If you require deletion/duplication analysis, please provide a whole blood or saliva specimen.

Please see the flyer Optimizing for DNA specimen success at Invitae for more information.
Specimen return and billing policy
Invitae performs an initial quality-control (QC) analysis on all DNA specimens received. If your DNA specimen fails this QC step, we will contact you and gladly return or safely dispose of any remaining DNA specimen at no charge. Please be aware that DNA specimens that pass initial QC may still fail to produce deletion/duplication results.
Specimen types accepted

We accept DNA purified from peripheral venous whole blood for panel or single-gene testing (although not for exome testing).

DNA must be extracted in a CLIA or other suitably certified laboratory.

DNA from the following sources is also accepted; however, DNA isolated from these sources is more likely to fail to meet our quality standards for read-through sequencing and deletion/duplication analysis:

  • Frozen blood
  • Buccal swab/scrape
  • Saliva
  • Mouthwash (oral rinse)
  • Muscle, skin, or liver tissue
  • Cultured fibroblasts
  • Cord blood collected at birth, but not prior to birth
DNA from the following sources is not accepted:
  • Chorionic villus sampling
  • Amniocytes
  • Products of conception or abortus
  • Tumors
  • Peripheral blood or saliva of patients with an active hematologic malignancy in circulation
  • Paraffin-embedded tissue, regardless of whether or not it is fixed in formalin
Amount & concentration
  • 8 µg of DNA in TE. We recommend PicoGreen for quantifying the DNA specimen. Note that the full amount will likely be consumed during our laboratory processes.
  • DNA must be at a minimum concentration of 50 ng/µl.
  • When sending DNA at higher concentrations, the minimum volume is 75 µl.
Container
Our preferred container type is a 2 mL Fisher brand freestanding microcentrifuge tube with screw cap; however, we will accept DNA in any sterile plastic tube.
Labeling
The DNA container must be labeled with:
  • The patient’s full name
  • One additional unique identifier:
    • Date of birth
    • Medical record number
    • IB number, if placed by submitting clinician
    • Invitae test order ID (RQ#)
    • Medical record number
  • Specimen collection date
The patient name and at least one additional unique identifier written on the container must match the name and identifier provided when the test order was placed. We recommend including more than one additional unique identifier to ensure a match.
Documentation
The following additional information is required for DNA specimens:
  • Collection date
  • Source of the DNA (which tissue or specimen type?)

If submitting a paper order form, please handwrite this information on the form. If ordering online, you will be prompted print a copy of the online requisition form where you can handwrite this information.

Shipping requirements
DNA specimens should be shipped overnight at room temperature. We recommend including cold packs in hot weather or if shipping is expected to take longer than overnight to keep the specimen at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (35.6 to 46.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Frozen DNA specimens should be shipped overnight using cold packs.

Please send the specimen in a crush-proof container via FedEx Priority Overnight (in accordance with the FedEx Packaging Guidelines for Clinical Samples). Please contact Invitae’s client services team to obtain the FedEx account number. (Please note that pricing outside the US does not include shipping fees.)

        Shipping address:
        Attn: Client Services
        Invitae Corporation
        1400 16th Street
        San Francisco, CA 94103

Invitae accepts packages Monday through Friday. We recommend that you send your package so that it leaves your facility Monday through Thursday. Please do not request Saturday delivery. Invitae follows the FedEx Holiday Service Schedule.

If you ship your specimen from outside the United States, your shipping carrier will require three copies of a commercial (pro-forma) invoice. A sample invoice for DNA is available. Please be sure to also include a customs declaration form.
More information
Please see the flyer Optimizing for DNA specimen success at Invitae for more information.
After the death of a loved one from a suspected inherited condition, post-mortem genetic testing may provide valuable information for family members. Post-mortem testing may help confirm the deceased person’s cause of death, as well as clarify whether family members could benefit from genetic testing for the same condition.

Post-mortem genetic testing involves consideration of several important factors prior to testing. Below is general information about Invitae’s testing process for post-mortem analysis. Due to the sensitive nature of this type of analysis and these specimens, we require that clinicians contact us before sending a post-mortem specimen. Please note that at this time, we do not conduct exome testing on post-mortem samples.
Test type
Accepted for the following test type:
  • Diagnostic testing (panels and exome)
Specimen types
Please refer to the whole blood or DNA tabs on this page for specimen requirements.
Specimen quality
The success of genetic testing is dependent on specimen quality. While we make every effort to generate complete test results, this may not always be possible if a specimen is of poor quality. Deletion/duplication testing is not guaranteed for DNA isolated in other labs or for frozen blood.
Container
Containers accepted for whole blood post-mortem specimens:
  • We prefer specimens sent in EDTA purple-top or pink-top tubes. We accept both K2EDTA and K3EDTA.
  • We accept specimens sent in gray-top tubes containing sodium fluoride and either potassium oxalate or Na2EDTA. Deletion/duplication analysis is not guaranteed for these specimens.
Specimen storage & send-out
Invitae is unable to store or hold specimens at this time. We encourage consideration of DNA banking through other facilities specifically focused on long-term DNA storage.
Specimens received that do not meet Invitae’s minimum requirements for testing may be returned to the sender. Specimens that meet minimum requirements will start the testing process and will likely be consumed.
Payment & billing
Families have the option of paying $250 per clinical area for testing when the test is ordered online by a clinician. For this option, a family member agrees to register the deceased patient through Invitae’s online patient portal and provide payment by credit card upfront and in full. This family member must be the authorized next-of-kin because the portal will display test results, and these can only be accessed by authorized individuals. Please note that insurance does not typically cover post-mortem testing, so we cannot submit claims to insurers for tests performed on deceased patients.
Results reporting
The results of genetic testing are reported to the ordering clinician. The family member who registered the patient in the Invitae patient portal may request a copy of the patient’s test results, which will become available online once reviewed and released by the ordering clinician.
Shipping requirements
Please refer to the whole blood or DNA tabs on this page for shipping requirements for these specimen types.
Test type
Accepted for the following test types:
  • Diagnostic testing (panels and exome)
  • Proactive health panels
  • Carrier screening
Specimen types
Specimen types accepted:
  • Saliva collected and stored in an OrageneTM self collection kit (OG500/OGD500/OGD510).
    • Please note that this kit requires 2 mL of saliva for OG500/OGD500 and 1 mL of saliva for OGD510, and involves active (not assisted) saliva donation.
  • Saliva collected and stored in an OrageneTM assisted saliva collection kit (OG575/OGD575).
    • This kit is appropriate for young children or patients where active saliva donation is difficult.
    • Due to the smaller volume collected in these kits (0.75 mL per kit), we request that two tubes be filled per order.

To request a free OrageneTM kit, visit our Request a Kit page.

  • We are unable to accept:
    • Saliva in any container other than the OrageneTM kits (OG500/OGD500/OGD510/OG575/OGD575)
    • Buccal swabs and mouthwash specimens
    • Saliva (or blood) from patients who have had an allogeneic (non-self donor) bone marrow transplant.
    • Saliva (or blood) from patients who have had an allogeneic (non-self donor) stem cell transplant.
    • Saliva (or blood) from patients who had a blood transfusion less than two weeks prior to specimen collection

Hematologic malignancy:

Results may be affected for blood or saliva samples from patients with hematological malignancies that are actively circulating in the peripheral blood. In such cases, a specimen type not derived from blood or saliva is suggested, such as gDNA from a skin biopsy. Please see the "DNA" tab above for more information and click here to learn more.

Labeling
The collection tube must be labeled with:
  • The patient’s full name
  • One additional unique identifier:
    • Date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
    • Medical record number
    • IB number, if placed by submitting clinician
    • Invitae test order ID (RQ#)
    • Medical record number
  • Specimen collection date
The patient name and at least one additional unique identifier written on the tube must match the name and identifier provided when the test order was placed. We recommend including more than one additional unique identifier to ensure a match.
Storage & Stability
Store saliva at room temperature, avoiding lengthy refrigeration. Although there are no special time requirements, we recommend that the specimen be mailed to Invitae soon after collection.
Documentation
A printed copy of the requisition form must be submitted with the specimen if you're not placing your order through the online portal. You can find and print a copy of the requisition form here. If you're placing an online order, a printed copy of the requisition form is helpful but not required. Please note that notes handwritten on the form will not be processed. If you need to modify your order, please contact client services.
Shipping requirements
Ship at room temperature (overnight shipping is not necessary). To assist with specimen collection and shipping, you can request a free Invitae saliva collection kit by submitting a Request a Kit form online.

Alternatively, you can send us the specimen in a crush-proof container via FedEx Priority Overnight (in accordance with the FedEx Packaging Guidelines for Clinical Samples). Please contact Invitae’s Client Services team to obtain the FedEx account number(please note that pricing outside the US does not include shipping fees).

        Shipping address:
        Attn: Client Services
        Invitae Corporation
        1400 16th Street
        San Francisco, CA 94103

Invitae accepts packages Monday through to Friday. We recommend that the package leaves your facility Monday through Thursday. Please do not request Saturday delivery. Invitae follows the FedEx Holiday Service Schedule.

If you ship your specimen from outside the United States, your shipping carrier will require three copies of a commercial (pro-forma) invoice. A sample pro-forma invoice is available. Please be sure to also include a customs declaration form. A sample saliva customs declaration form is also available.
Test type
Accepted for the following test type:
  • Preimplantation genetic testing


Embryo biopsies are accepted for preimplantation genetic testing for chromosomal aneuploidy (PGT-A) and structural rearrangements/translocations (PGT-SR). PGT-SR is accepted on a case by case basis and requires a completed PGT referral form and approval from Invitae’s medical team prior to sample submission.

Please see the complete guide to biopsy and shipping instructions for PGT.  

Specimen types
  • Invitae PGT can be performed on trophectoderm/blastocyst biopsy samples only.
  • No fresh transfers can be accommodated.
  • All samples must arrive in the Invitae tubes (0.2 mL) provided.
  • All samples must arrive in ~2.5 to 3.5 μL of the Invitae buffer provided.
  • All samples must be frozen prior to shipping and remain frozen during the shipping process. Samples stored at room temperature may render samples unable to be tested.
  • All samples must be received within two weeks of biopsy.
  • All samples must be shipped on dry ice.
Specimen quality
The success of genetic testing is dependent on specimen quality. While we make every effort to generate complete test results, this may not always be possible if a specimen is of poor quality. For the best test outcome, please follow your laboratory’s standard sterile procedures and the steps listed below.
Labeling
Prior to loading the samples in the rack, use a permanent marker to clearly label the tube cap and the sidewall with the appropriate embryo # and complete the Biopsy worksheet form included in your kit.  All columns must be complete and legible so that sample processing is not delayed. Once samples are placed in the rack inside the Invitae kit, please follow these labeling instructions:
  • Affix the large Invitae barcode sticker to the outside of the rack and label with the patient’s name and DOB.
  • The medium barcode stickers are for any patient-related paperwork included in the shipment (e.g., the Biopsy worksheet form, Patient consent form, Test requisition form, etc.).
  • The small barcode stickers should be used to associate each tube with the appropriate rack. Each sticker should be wrapped around the tube so that it sticks to itself. Please ensure that the embryo # is visible on the sticker and the top of the tube.
Storage & Stability
Prior to use, the Invitae PGT kit and its components may be stored at room temperature. Immediately place the Invitae rack upright in a freezer once samples have been added to the rack.
  • Invitae buffer will turn yellow to indicate that it is frozen.
  • Samples may be stored frozen for up to one week.
  • When ready, ship on dry ice to Invitae. Request dry ice >
    
Please note, dry ice delivery requires at least 48 hours advance notice.
    It is not available for clients outside the United States.
Documentation
PGT samples cannot be processed without:
Shipping requirements
  • Ensure all samples remain frozen prior to shipping, indicated by the YELLOW buffer color.
  • Keep the Invitae rack upright in the styrofoam container. Fill the container with tightly packed dry ice pellets. Place the styrofoam container in the kit (cardboard shipping box).
  • Complete the dry ice label on the outside of the kit and affix the FedEx shipping label to the top of the kit. Ensure the FedEx label AND the outside of the kit include the total weight of the shipment in kilograms. Any missing information may result in returned shipments.
  • Kits:
    • You may ship up to two racks (two patients’ worth of samples) in one small kit.
    • You may ship up to five racks (five patient’ worth of samples) in one large kit.
  • We do not accept shipments on Sundays. Please ensure your shipment arrives Monday-Saturday, otherwise your shipment may be rejected.
  • Please send your sample within two weeks of biopsy. Ship samples for overnight delivery to:

            Invitae Corporation
            1400 16th Street
            San Francisco, CA 94103

If you are shipping your specimen from outside the United States:
Shipping costs and dry ice coordination are the sender’s responsibility. Your shipping carrier will require three copies of a commercial (pro-forma) invoice. A sample invoice is available here. Please be sure to also include a customs declaration letter. A sample customs declaration letter is available here.