Cell3™ Preserver

Collect and stabilise blood samples to enable optimal cell-free DNA extraction

Cell3 Preserver enables collection and stabilisation of whole blood for use in cell-free DNA applications like NIPT and liquid biopsy.

Longer stability

Stabilizes whole blood for up to 21 days at a wide range of storage temperatures (4°C – 37°C) taking away the worry of transport delays.

Easy to use

Plastic evacuated tube compatible with standard draw equipment and disposables so there is no need to change anything in your workflow.

Fully validated

Validated for use in non-invasive applications, such as NIPT and liquid biopsy; and for multiple techniques like qPCR and NGS.

Seamless workflow

Barcoded labels allow seamless workflow integration with your existing automation and laboratory management systems.

The importance of blood collection methods in cfDNA applications

The introduction of non-invasive methods like liquid biopsy that use cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for molecular diagnostics has been of growing interest in oncology and prenatal studies. The analysis of cfDNA in a biological fluid, usually blood, can provide valuable genomic information for healthcare professionals without the need for tissue biopsies or amniocentesis.

Whilst taking a blood sample is a simple procedure, if blood plasma is not preserved or isolated within 24 hours of blood draw, the degradation of nucleated white blood cells will cause the release of intracellular genomic DNA (gDNA) into the plasma. This contaminates the cell-free DNA fraction affecting the reliability and validity of data. This time constraint means that any delays in transport of samples from collection site to analysis location can negatively impact on results.

Nonacus Cell3™ Preserver tubes are an easy-to-use direct-draw blood collection method that maintains white blood cell integrity for up to 21 days. They provide an alternative to EDTA tubes that help ensure contamination-free cell-free DNA for applications like liquid biopsy and NIPT.

Designed for Direct-Draw Blood Collection

Cell3™ Preserver tubes consist of sterile, evacuated, polyethylene terephthalate tubes that are designed for direct-draw blood collection. They contain an additive at the correct volume to simultaneously stabilize blood cells and impede coagulation at the time of collection. The stabilizer acts by preserving the nucleated cells (white blood cells) in an intact state until processing and analysis can be performed.

Whole blood collection and stabilisation

Figure 1. Streck tubes show an apparent increase in cfDNA concentration from day 13 due to contaminating gDNA released by the lysis of white blood cells.

Superior blood cell stability for cfDNA longevity

Cell3™ Preserver has superior blood cell stability compared with the market leader allowing blood samples to be stored for up to 21 days after draw at an ambient temperature before processing. This minimises the adverse effects of time, storage, and transport conditions on sample integrity and cfDNA extraction yield.

A cost-effective preserver validated for NIPT and liquid biopsy testing

Cell3™ Preserver has been validated for NIPT and liquid biopsy applications alongside the market leading cell stabilization tube and offers an alternative to standard EDTA blood collection tubes that ensures robustness of genetic testing with cfDNA.


Figure 1. DNA concentration of PCR-free libraries prepared from ccfDNA for whole genome sequencing on NextSeq500 (Illumina). 

Blood samples from 5 patients were collected into both Cell3™ Preserver and Streck tubes for testing. CcfDNA was extracted and analyzed with the Serenity test for NIPT of fetal aneuploidies.



Figure 2. Fetal fraction observed

Blood samples from 5 patients were collected into both Cell3™ Preserver and Streck tubes for testing. CcfDNA was extracted and analyzed with the Serenity test for NIPT of fetal aneuploidies. 


Figure 3. Liquid biopsy test: Two identified pathogenic variants were found present in the FFPE and cfDNA samples, but not in the germline dDNA.

A blood sample from a patient with metastatic breast cancer was collected in Cell3™ Preserver and Streck tubes post chemotherapy. CcfDNA was extracted and tested alongside gDNA obtained from leukocytes and a FFPE biopsy sample of the primary tumor. Targeted resequencing across a panel of genes commonly associated with cancer was performed at high depth Illumina). Bioinformatics analysis was conducted to annotate variants and identify causative actionable mutations.

Designed to support streamlined workflows

The Cell3™ Preserver tube has been designed for sample collection and shipment from around the world helping centralized lab facilities streamline their workflows. A sample barcode is included to allow LIMS compatibility, sample tracking and to assist high throughput clinical and translational labs.


Product Resources

Detailed product information available to download.

Product Support

If you have a query relating to any of our products please fill in the support request form here and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our own lab validated protocol uses a different sample "spin-down" protocol than the Nonacus recommendation. In our lab the second spin is 3000 g for 20 minutes, however the Nonacus protocol suggests a minimum of 10000 g for 10 minutes. We would like to run all samples together using the same protocol. Do you have any experience using different plasma isolation parameters and is the one we use still suitable for use with Cell3™ Xtract?

The protocol you are using would still work fine to remove excess intact cells in the 2nd spin however, it may not remove cell debris which usually floats around in plasma and requires higher speeds to pellet. In order to get a cleaner plasma sample, we recommend you perform the second spin at 10,000g or higher. Nevertheless, the Cell3 Xtract kit will still work with either isolation protocol.

We regularly see a slight pink colouration to plasma that is extracted from our Cell3 Preserver tubes. This is nothing to worry about. Our tubes protect and prevent white blood cells (containing DNA) from breaking down, however they do not prevent completely the red cells with thinner walls (not containing DNA) from breaking down. The pink colour is due to some of the red blood cells breaking open and this does not affect or create any gDNA contamination.

Learn more

cell free DNA extraction

Cell3™ Xtract

A cell-free DNA extraction kit that is a fast, accurate and flexible solution to obtain cfDNA directly from plasma.

every sample is precious

The art of maximising cell-free DNA yield from plasma

Read our blog post on the importance of pre-analytical steps to a successful cfDNA test.