Learn More about BSC

Learn More

Your donation can assist scientists in the effort to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases.

All blood types are needed and welcome to donate.

To qualify, candidates must be pre-screened before participation. Information about your personal and medical history will also be collected. Compensation for your time and efforts will be issued upon completion of donation. Biospecimen donations are skillfully taken using sterile laboratory techniques in state-of-the-art facilities to make your visit with us enjoyable. Donations are used for research purposes only.

Donation Programs

Whole Blood

Whole Blood is comprised of four main components, specifically red blood cells, plasma, white blood cells and platelets. Donating blood depletes iron stores and it takes about two months to return to normal.

  • Frequency: Whole blood can be donated every eight weeks (56 days)
  • Length of Visit: Expect your visit to last 45 minutes.
  • The Process: Whole blood is collected from an arm vein where a phlebotomist will cleanse and sterilize the area of the arm from which the blood will be drawn. This process takes approximately 15 minutes.

For more information, click here.


Plasma is a fluid that carries the other parts of the blood. It also helps clot blood and supports the immune system. It only takes the body about 48 hours to replace plasma after a donation. Please note that donors are required to schedule an appointment for an annual physical with our qualified staff prior to donation.

  • Frequency: Donors can participate up to two times per week.
  • Length of Visit: Expect your visit to last an hour to 90 minutes.
  • The Process: A phlebotomist will cleanse and sterilize an area of the arm from which the blood will be drawn. The blood is sent through sterile tubing into an apheresis machine that spins the blood to separate the plasma from the other components which are returned to the donor through the same arm. This process takes approximately 45 minutes.
white blood cells
White Blood Cells (Leukapheresis)

White Blood Cells help defend the body against disease and infection. The process of Leukapheresis is used to remove white blood cells and return the other parts back to the donor.

  • Frequency: Donors may participate every two to four weeks, depending on the volume amount collected.
  • Length of Visit: Expect your visit take from one to four hours.
  • The Process: A phlebotomist will cleanse and sterilize an area of the arm from which the blood will be drawn. The blood is sent through sterile tubing into an apheresis machine that spins the blood to separate the white blood cells from the other components. White blood cells are collected and the remaining components are returned via the other arm. The approximate time for this process will vary.

For more information, click here.

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow, collected in our Berkeley, CA location, is the soft, spongy material found in large bones. Bone marrow makes more than 20 billion new blood cells every day. Bone marrow stem cells are essential because they mature into red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets and can be used for a variety of research methods.

  • Frequency: Approximately every 30 days
  • Length of Visit: Expect your visit to last approximately one hour to 90 minutes.
  • The Process: A phlebotomist will cleanse, sterilize and apply a local anesthetic to numb the area of the hip, called the iliac crest. Bone marrow will be extracted from the left or right hip. During the bone marrow removal process, frequently called “aspiration,” it is common to feel a brief feeling of being pinched.

Mobilized Leukapheresis

This collection is a unique white blood cell donation that's conducted at several of our locations. Prior to donating, injections of a bone marrow stimulating drug are administered, which boosts your body’s white blood cell production. These injections are commonly used to mobilize stem cells to the peripheral blood for collection and subsequent autologous (originating from the recipient, not a donor) transplantation in patients with certain cancers.

Participation includes a screening visit, up to six injection visits and up to two leukapheresis procedure visits.

  • Frequency: Two times maximum in a lifetime with a one year lapse between participation.
  • Length of Visit: Expect your visit to last approximately 30 minutes for injections and four to five hours on donation days.
  • The Process: If you qualify, injections and donations will be scheduled for you, based on the specific regimen for which you’re participating.
For more information, click here.
other biological samples
Other Biofluids

Beyond blood samples, scientists study other bodily fluids to detect and treat diseases. The BSC staff will instruct you in collection protocol for the following sample types. Additionally, a few tubes of blood must be drawn for viral marker testing.

  • Breast Milk
  • Breath
  • Buccal/Cheek Swab
  • Capillary Blood
  • Feces
  • Finger Stick/Prick
  • Hair
  • Mucous
  • Nails
  • Nasal Swab
  • Nasal Wash
  • Oral (Mouth) Rinse
  • Saliva
  • Sebum
  • Semen
  • Sputum
  • Sweat
  • Tears
  • Throat Swab
  • Tongue Scraping
  • Urine
  • Vomit

What to Know Before Donating

Basic Eligibility Requirements

In order to donate, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be in good health and feeling well
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Are not pregnant and have not been pregnant in the past six weeks
  • Possess a valid government-issued photo ID (Driver’s License, Military ID, etc.)

Please note that this is not a complete list; other eligibility factors will apply.

Determination of Eligibility

To determine if you are eligible to donate, we will:

  • Ask about your health and travel
  • Ask about medicines you are taking or have taken
  • Ask about your risk for infections that can be transmitted by blood – especially AIDS and viral hepatitis
  • Take your blood pressure, temperature and pulse
  • Take a blood sample to be sure your blood count is acceptable

All information you provide is kept confidential.


Need More Information?

Visit our resource page to learn more about the various blood donation programs through helpful videos and brochures.

Contact Our Donor Coordinator