Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs)

As The Biospecimen and Biomarker Specialists™, Discovery Life Sciences offers a robust inventory of blood-based human biospecimens for oncology applications.

For speed, scale, and reliability sourcing PBMCs, choose Discovery.

Accelerate your precision oncology program with Discovery’s extensive inventory and prospective network for PBMCs.




  • Diseased blood is collected just prior to the patient’s next cycle of therapy (typically, a 2-4 week washout period) at standard laboratory appointments as dictated by the patient’s oncologist.
  • PBMCs are frozen in 90% heat-inactivated FBS +10% DMSO and use sodium heparin as an anticoagulant. 
  • The final product volume is 1.0 mL
  • Cell counts typically range from 5M to 10M cells per million
  • After thawing, cell counts and viability are determined using AOPI staining on a Nexcelom Cellometer. In our experience, this offers more accurate cell counts and viabilities of this product than using trypan blue or any other method of counting. We strongly recommend against using flow cytometry or any other counting method as they can artificially decrease cell counts and viabilities.

PBMC Matched Sets

Our Discovery Partners® network allows for large-scale, prospective collections of high-quality matched sample sets of human biospecimens. Each matched sample set is provided with the base clinical data from the patient case, along with redacted pathology information.

PBMCs Technical Resources

White Paper

Checkpoint inhibitor therapy utilization and PD1/PDL1 expression across a global clinical network.


Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

A quick reference resource for scientists who need to isolate, manipulate, or develop assays involving human mononuclear cells.



Standard processing of diseased peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).


Need Biomarker Characterization For Your Human Cancer Biospecimens?

While our biospecimens are highly characterized, we also provide streamlined multi-omic biomarker analyses to further characterize biospecimens from our inventory or from your studies via our global CLIA / CAP service laboratories*.

Genomic Biomarkers

  • HudsonAlpha Discovery
  • Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Whole Exam Sequencing
  • Targeting Panels
  • Hi-Fi Long Read Sequencing
  • RNASeq
  • Single Cell Sequencing

Tissue Biomarkers

  • IHC
  • Multiplexed IF (mIF)
  • RNA Scope
  • Digital Pathology & Image Analysis
  • PCR
  • In-Situ Hybridization
  • Colorimetric


  • Flow Cytometry
  • Dissociation & Isolation
  • Cell Culture & Expansion

*HudsonAlpha Discovery Sequencing and Bioinformatics laboratory is CLIA registered, pending CAP accreditation.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your Standard Collection Tube for PBMCs?
Our standard collection tube for PBMCs is a Sodium Heparin Tube; however, prospective collections can utilize any commercially available blood collection tube.
What are your Storage and Shipping Temperature guidelines for PMBCs?
We recommend shipping PBMCs on dry ice or, if possible, in liquid nitrogen. PBMCs should be stored in liquid nitrogen immediately upon receipt
How are your PBMCs processed?

You can find our PBMCs Protocols by clicking here.

We also have the ability to follow our clients’ custom processing protocols and help them develop new processing protocols based on their needs.

How is post thaw QC performed?

Following at least 24 hours in liquid nitrogen, one vial is removed from storage and quickly thawed in a 37°C water bath until only a small frozen crystal remains.  Vials are transferred into a biosafety cabinet and diluted with an appropriate volume of DMEM/F12 + 10% FBS in a 15ml conical tube to ensure linearity with the Nexcelom Cellometer.  20µl of the cell suspension is mixed with 20µl of acridine orange/propidium iodide and counted on the Nexcelom Cellometer to determine cell counts and viability.  All cell counts are performed prior to any pelleting and washing of the samples.  These counts are estimations of the total live cell yield.

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