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Bridging the Gap between Sample Collection and Laboratory Analysis: Using Dried Blood Spots to Identify Human Exposure to Chemical Agents
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  • Pubmed ID:
    27942095
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5139685
  • Description:
    Public health response to large scale chemical emergencies presents logistical challenges for sample collection, transport, and analysis. Diagnostic methods used to identify and determine exposure to chemical warfare agents, toxins, and poisons traditionally involve blood collection by phlebotomists, cold transport of biomedical samples, and costly sample preparation techniques. Use of dried blood spots, which consist of dried blood on an FDA-approved substrate, can increase analyte stability, decrease infection hazard for those handling samples, greatly reduce the cost of shipping/storing samples by removing the need for refrigeration and cold chain transportation, and be self-prepared by potentially exposed individuals using a simple finger prick and blood spot compatible paper. Our laboratory has developed clinical assays to detect human exposures to nerve agents through the analysis of specific protein adducts and metabolites, for which a simple extraction from a dried blood spot is sufficient for removing matrix interferents and attaining sensitivities on par with traditional sampling methods. The use of dried blood spots can bridge the gap between the laboratory and the field allowing for large scale sample collection with minimal impact on hospital resources while maintaining sensitivity, specificity, traceability, and quality requirements for both clinical and forensic applications.

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