Long Live the Microsample
When it comes to microsampling for quantitative bioanalysis, the devil is certainly in the details. But we should learn from our mistakes – not retreat back into convention.
Neil Spooner |
There has been a recent growth of interest in approaches for obtaining quantitative measurements of analytes in very small volumes of biological fluids, such as blood and plasma, particularly for drug development. The approach is broadly termed “microsampling”. The growth has been fuelled by increasing considerations and requirements around collecting smaller blood volumes for the benefit of animal ethics (the 3Rs – refinement, reduction and replacement), development of medicines for children, desires for simplified approaches to blood sampling (finger/heel prick, compared to venous), drug trials in remote areas (neglected/tropical diseases), therapeutic drug monitoring and the ability to collect samples in a non-centralized location (at pharmacies or in the home). The renewed interest has been facilitated by developments in analytical technology (increased sensitivity from modern LC-MS systems, capillary separations, smaller LC particle sizes), which has enabled the analysis of small samples, whilst still delivering the required quantitative assay sensitivity.
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