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the microsampling blog

how to collect a specimen sample at home

finger-prick-capillary-micro-blood-collection-deviceThe rise of microsampling technology has dramatically simplified the process of specimen collection, whether for collecting blood or another bio-fluid. For blood collection, it is no longer necessary to undergo painful venipuncture, to involve phlebotomists and complex lab equipment, or to use dry ice and biohazard shipping to get the blood sample safely to the clinic or lab for analysis. Now, instead of getting poked in the arm with a big needle, there is minimally invasive finger-prick / finger-stick sampling to gather a "microsample" for research, clinical trials, and more.

Volumetric absorptive microsampling, led to the development of Mitra® devices with VAMS® technology at Neoteryx. VAMS combines the best of dried blood spot cards and other similar older dried blood collection methods, but overcomes or solves for their limitations (the hematocrit bias, significantly, among many others).

Many researchers and clinical trial managers are embracing VAMS technology for its utility in remote microsampling studies. The rise of microsampling is explained by several factors:

  • It's easy to use, even for untrained participants self-collecting samples at home
  • It's economical: It saves money for lab directors and study managers
  • It's convenient: Read on!

With this method, almost anyone (with minimal training via video and illustrated instructions) can collect a small, precise sample of blood (or another biological fluid), anywhere, at any time. It can be done on mountainside treks, in low-resourced regions, or in a participant’s own living room.

The process is so smart and simple, nearly anyone can do it correctly with ease:

  • The Finger-prick: A quick poke from a lancet to a fingertip can draw a drop or two of blood. That’s all that’s needed for collecting a high-quality specimen sample.
  • The First Sample: Hold the tip steady over the drop for the moment it takes to fully absorb the 10-20 microliters of blood (or other biological fluid).
  • The Second Sample: Repeat this same process to fill as many device tips as needed, whether you’re using the Mitra® Cartridge or four-pack Mitra Clamshell. It’s quick and simple.
  • Seal: Once all tips are filled, enclose your samples in the included self-sealing pouch and envelope (including the packet of drying desiccant that is in the pouch).  
  • Ship: Drop the envelope in the nearest mailbox to send to the central lab for processing.
HubSpot Video

That’s it!

Why is this process so important? Microsampling, while absurdly simple, has numerous applications across the spectrum of science, drug research, health and wellness.

In Europe, an important area in which microsampling is having an impact is the realm of remote patient monitoring. Find out how Mitra microsampling technology provides an important missing link in the RPM ecosystem in England, France, and other European countries. Learn how Mitra devices and kits provide a secret weapon for those in pursuit of more patient-centric and value-based care.

Learn more about how to implement microsampling in your research lab or program.

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