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Silk stabilises blood samples for months without refrigeration
Researchers have stabilised blood samples for long periods of time without refrigeration at temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius by encapsulating them in air-dried silk protein.
New York: Researchers have stabilised blood samples for long periods of time without refrigeration at temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius by encapsulating them in air-dried silk protein.
The technique has broad applications for clinical care and research that rely on accurate analysis of blood and other biofluids.
"This approach should facilitate outpatient blood collection for disease screening and monitoring, particularly for underserved populations, and also serve needs of researchers and clinicians without access to centralised testing facilities.
For example, this could support large-scale epidemiologic studies or remote pharmacological trials," said senior author David Kaplan, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University School of Engineering, Medford, Massachusetts, US.
Blood contains proteins, enzymes, lipids, metabolites, and peptides that serve as biomarkers for health screening, monitoring and diagnostics.
Both research and clinical care often require blood to be collected outside a laboratory. However, unless stored at controlled temperatures, these biomarkers rapidly deteriorate, jeopardizing the accuracy of subsequent laboratory analysis.
Existing alternative collection and storage solutions, such as drying blood on paper cards, still fail to effectively protect biomarkers from heat and humidity.