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the microsampling blog

capillary blood sampling applications in health and wellness


Capillary blood microsampling from the fingertip is a simple procedure that allows participants to draw their own blood in small, precise amounts. This can be done using a lancet for a quick finger-stick to produce a blood drop, which can be collected with a small, portable blood collection device. This approach makes it easy to collect blood samples anywhere, which opens the door for a host of innovations in health and wellness

The use of finger-stick microsampling for quantitative blood sample collection is gaining traction in scientific research programs, as well as in the health and wellness industry. You may have seen a number of sample collection kits that are now available through different organizations for tracking your genealogy, fertility, or general health and wellness.

collection kitThese kits feature a do-it-yourself approach to blood sample collection at home, with the convenience of sending the self-collected samples directly to a lab for analysis.

By using the easy-to-use microsampling devices in these remote kits to draw precise, small volumes of blood from a fingertip, participants in clinical trials and health programs can take advantage of more specific testing, precision medicine, and a whole lot more in the growing health and wellness sector.

Capillary blood collection: Why is it gaining in popularity?

With the help of technology, it has become easier for medical experts to find connections and innovations in health and medicine. Among the technological advances from which medical facilities have benefited is capillary blood sampling. Capillary blood samples can be dried on filter paper or a sampling device before transporting them to the lab, where they will be analyzed using a dried blood sampling workflow.

Capillary dried blood microsampling has been used in hospitals for newborn screening for decades in the form of the dried blood spot (DBS) card. However, it took some time for capillary blood sampling to be improved as a technique and applied in a wider range of uses. Over the years, scientists, field researchers, clinical trial managers, and others have come to discover its benefits.

Two big reasons to consider capillary blood sampling are:

  1. It is patient-centered: According to research, patients overwhelmingly choose capillary blood sampling with a quick finger-stick over other blood sampling techniques. It’s more comfortable and quite convenient.

  2. It is quick and simple: Capillary blood sampling simply involves a quick prick on a fingertip using a tiny lancet and a handheld microsampling device. This avoids the stress of a venous blood draw in a clinic, and also eliminates the special handling and transport processes required with conventional liquid blood samples.

Dried Blood Microsampling Overcomes Old Limitations

Thanks to capillary blood sampling, many studies that previously required wet blood samples in tubes can now be done more easily and cost-effectively with a simple microsampling method.

about-collect-hemaPEN-clinic-setting_4 copyAnd, with advanced technology, this method no longer requires the old-fashioned DBS cards. Newer volumetric microsampling devices like the hemaPEN® and the Mitra® device with VAMS® technology make it possible to acquire volumetrically precise, quantitative blood samples.

Unlike conventional DBS cards, on which blood spots may dry unevenly with wide variation in sample volumes, volumetric samples are so accurate that the hematocrit bias is effectively eliminated. This means that volumetric blood microsamples can generate results that correlate with those from wet blood samples and plasma.

full-tips-Mitra-anywhere-office-resizedVolumetric microsampling technology continues to evolve. As it evolves, more scientists and medical professionals are offering their study participants and patients the option to collect their own specimen samples at home.

This convenient remote approach may help patients avoid extra trips to the lab or clinic for a blood draw and may help clinical trials recruit more study participants who can't easily travel to a hospital or research facility for clinical trial appointments.

The blood microsampling market is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years, and we are likely to see many new and exciting applications of microsampling in the health and wellness sectors in the future.

New call-to-actionIn some territories our devices are supplied for therapeutic or IVD use Outside of those territories our devices are supplied for research use only

Image credits: Trajan, iStock, Shutterstock

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