In the past, blood sampling has not always been patient friendly. Microsampling offers a novel way on how blood can be tested, using less blood, and in a less invasive manner. This technology is still fairly new, but the importance of more patient friendly testing is why InSource Diagnostics is investing in the tests of tomorrow.
What is microsampling?
It has always been known that blood sampling has been an essential diagnostic tool. Almost 70 percent of all medical decisions are reached using diagnostic tests that include blood tests.
The problem with traditional blood testing methods, although they are sometimes necessary, is that they are not always practical. In cases where the patient is located in a very remote area, a good deal away from medical help, access to sampling facilities may be very limited. It is in these times where blood microsampling can literally be a lifesaver.
Blood microsampling is a very simple method that allows patients to draw their own blood when the need arises, and then it would be as easy as mailing the specimen to the laboratory for the necessary analysis. In blood microsampling, the amount and volume of blood needed for the sample is reduced drastically, and the same results for the determination of circulating blood concentrations of dosed drug substance, or other entities.
Below is a side-by-side comparison between microsampling and the traditional blood collection sampling method. It is clearly seen how much more simple it will be, both for the patient and also for the professional, if microsampling is the chosen process to be used.
A few difference microsampling options exist for patients today. From using a lancet device and collecting with a volumetric absorptive material or a capillary collector to using a novel device like the HemoLinkTM. The end result is a more patient friendly experience with less trauma.
A conventional blood sample drawn by venipuncture may consist of sample volumes of up to 10 ml, as much as 500 to 1,000 times the size of microsamples, as the microsampling samples require no more than 10-20 µL (microliters) of blood volume.
The picture on the left shows very invasive old blood sampling technique, while the picture on the right shows the microsampling procedure. Less blood is taken, and it looks so much less intimidating, and much quicker to facilitate.
Microsampling facilitates an easier and more comfortable donor experience, particularly for children and the elderly. These two age groups are the ones who have a particularly difficult time during conventional blood sampling. This novel technology also contributes to expanding participant outreach, eliminates costs and hassles associated with cold-chain shipping, and enables collection of blood specimens at home or in other settings outside of the clinic without the need of a phlebotomist
Microsampling makes it easier for clinical trial facilitators to streamline workflows, improve convenience and comfort, and promote adherence and compliance. This is so because samples can be gathered quickly and easily - or in other cases, physicians can teach patients to do self-sampling at home with simple training materials.
The procedure takes less blood from participants, which is especially important for vulnerable populations, and also for the elderly, as it is easy for them to get dizzy or nauseated if too much blood is drawn.
After the sample has been gathered, the transport of samples to the central lab from all over the world can happen easily, even without cold-chain shipping or couriers. Finally, participants no longer have to travel to the clinic for every blood draw, saving time, effort and money in the long run. Another notable money saving quality about this novel method is that less animals will be involved in the studies, therefore less test compounds will be used, saving even more money.
To conclude, microsampling allows for home sampling, this is one of the reasons why it is such a great convenience. It does not always require refrigeration and special handling during shipment, it is less painful and stressful and it can be performed on those for whom maintaining blood volume is critical. It is the future for blood testing and InSource Diagnostics is leading the way in integrating this technology for the tests of tomorrow.