Luckau Protocols:ShipDryIce

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Shipping Dry Ice

Tara K. Luckau's Home Page

Conservation Genetics Lab Notebook

Tara's Protocols


When shipping genomic DNA or PCR product, it is helpful (and possibly necessary) to keep the samples frozen. Dry ice (solid CO2) is the preferred cooling agent for mailing shipments.

Benefites of dry ice:

  • sublimation of solid CO2 means there's no messy liquid state, as with 'regular' ice
  • dry ice keeps your samples colder for longer (dry ice is -78°C) (household freezers are typically -20°C)

This protocol gives details for shipping samples out for fragment analysis (samples are light-sensitive PCR product).


Materials Needed

  1. From Department of Biology office (NLS 101)
    • US Domestic Airbill Package US Airbill.jpg
    • Dry ice label (class 9, UN 1845) Class-9-dry-ice.jpg
    • resealable adhesive plastic pouch FedExDomPouch.jpg
  2. Shipping container
    • insulated container (styrofoam) with cardboard outer casing
  3. dry ice
    • available from common room 320 (dry ice is re-stocked each Tuesday and Friday)
    • remember to sign-out how much you're taking


  • to send samples to UAGC for fragment analysis (genotyping), fill out forms as follows:
(note Account Number and Internal Billing Reference! very important!)
  • 20120731 FedEx.png
  • FedExDryIceLabel.png

Additional Resources


  • Do NOT touch dry ice (at -78°C, it can 'burn' your skin)
  • DO handle dry ice using protective gloves
  • Do NOT place dry ice in any sealed container (gas is less dense than the solid, so sublimation causes the CO2 to expand)
  • DO use dry ice in a ventilated location, and store in an insulated container