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Imagining a New Future for Biomedical Blood Sampling and Preservation

By Randolph Fillmore

David Graham, Ph.D., believes blood sampling collection can become EASIER, more standardized, and enable greater access and accuracy.

Graham, associate professor and the director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Molecular Determinants Core, heads a team of researchers and technicians who apply advanced technologies to gain a better understanding of biological processes at the molecular level. In addition to his own research, his team serves other researchers by providing their analytical services and technical expertise.

Graham and his interdisciplinary team have been working to develop a blood sampling kit that includes a simple card to stabilize dried blood spot (DBS) samples. The blood samples, blotted and dried on filter paper, can replace blood sampling that uses large volumes of blood drawn into tubes. He and his colleagues believe this method of getting and preserving blood samples is more convenient, preserves samples better than long-term freezing and provides both better preservation and better analytical results.

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The concept of dried blood sampling has been around for decades, but recent advances in science and technology have made DBS practical for broader use. Graham and his colleagues have been carrying out a variety of research projects to better demonstrate the potential of DBS. 

One of the most innovative aspects of the card type used in this study, and the beauty in its function, is that it separates plasma from the rest of the blood cells at collection. Graham expects that DBS technology can one day replace the centrifuge, that ubiquitous rotating laboratory machine that applies centrifugal force to separate fluids of different densities. They have been used for more than a century in industry and medicine.

Read more:  Read the full story by Randy Fillmore

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