RNA and DNA can be isolated from dried blood spot samples for many medical purposes, including blood banking, infectious disease research, and fetal screenings.
Because of the stability of dried blood spot samples, DNA and RNA can be successfully isolated from stored samples - even those that have been in storage for years. This is very beneficial for areas such as blood banking bechase those stored samples hold immense potential for medical research. In addition, by storing a dry vs. a wet sample, costs and storage footprint required are significantly reduced. Storage methods have been standardized, which can help ensure the usability of the samples for decades.
One study tested dried blood spot cards that had been stored for three durations: one month, 21 years, and 27 years. The study successfully identified RNA from the stored samples, meaning that future additional research can be conducted on other stored samples. For example, developmental and autoimmune disorders leave markers in blood that can be detected through DNA isolations. The dried blood spot cards also provide avenues for identifying early-life exposures to infectious diseases that lead to later difficulties or ill health.
A next generation dried blood spotting technology, Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling (VAMS™), delivers on the benefits of dried blood spot cards while addressing their limitations. With this technology, volumetrically accurate 10 µL (or 20 µL) blood samples are collected from a fingerstick. The entire sample can then be dried, transported, and extracted with common DNA/RNA isolation kits to generate pure, high-quality nucleic acids for a variety of downstream molecular tests.