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Techniques & Tools Pharma & Biopharma, Clinical, Sample Preparation

Long Live the Microsample

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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About the Author

Neil Spooner

Neil Spooner is founder and director of Spooner Bioanalytical Solutions and the Senior Editor of Bioanalysis, the journal for the field of regulated quantitative bioanalysis. He is also senior visiting research fellow at the School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, UK.

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