Dried Blood Spot Sampling

The DBS (Dried Blood Spot) Autosampler

Dried blood spot (DBS) sampling is an emerging technology for bioanalysis, especially useful in the clinical and pharmaceutical laboratory. The DBS approach offers easy sample collection, transport and storage. It also offers the possibility for patients who require regular monitoring to take their own blood samples in the comfort of their home, saving patient stress, transport costs, clinic resources-and provides a convenient sampling option in remote locations where medical facilities are not readily available.

Dried Blood Spot technology employs proprietary DBS “cards”, upon which blood samples are spotted – typically from a capillary tube – and allowed to dry. Analytes within these dried spots on cards show significant stability during transport and storage.

To analyze the spots, they must be either a) removed from the card – often by physically punching them out - collected, extracted, and ultimately injected into an analyzer, or b) introduced directly into the analyzer from the card.

The revolutionary DBS Autosampler available from iChrom Solutions enables the latter approach - unattended, quantitatively, and fully-automated. This approach maintains the integrity of the sample and results in both time and cost savings.

The DBS Autosampler sandwiches the spot on the card between two sides of a flow-through, leak-tight clamp, allowing for an elution solvent to flush spot components directly into the desired analyzer (e.g., a UHPLC-MS/MS).

Innovative, patented Flow-Through Desorption technology (FTD™)++ provides this direct elution of dried blood spots from DBS cards, leading to consistent quality and elimination of tedious and irreproducible manual disc punching or costly robotics.

FTD™ also allows additional on-line protocol steps for SPE sample cleanup and analyte separation – prior to elution – upstream of analysis in an automated workflow.

This fully-automated workflow procedure occurs in minutes, and provides maximum analyte sensitivity without manual intervention.

Further, the DBS Autosampler technology allows for analysis of other biological fluids in a similar manner, providing many new opportunities to the bioanalytical scientist.

++US patent no. US 8586382 B2

DBS Autosampler Features

iChrom Solutions

Flow-Through Desorption

FTD™ – Flow-Through Desorption

No manual intervention required with our innovative patented technology. Direct elution of DBS from cards enables optional on-line clean-up and analyte separation by SPE prior to analysis in an auto­mated workflow. Replaceable clamp head sizes of 2, 4, 6 or 8 mm clamp and seal filter paper cards up to pressures of about 200 bar (up to 100 bar for the 8 mm clamp). Desorption solvent is delivered by a high pressure dispenser (HPD™).

iChrom Solutions

Intelligent Vision Camera

IVC™ – Intelligent Vision Camera

Accurate spot positioning and sample traceability is vital for accuracy. Our camera has been designed so that it not only provides accurate positioning of DBS cards in the high pressure clamp for direct, flow-through desorption of bloodspots; but also offers sample barcode identification for 1D or 2D barcodes, full or partial spot desorption options and full image capture for sample information storage, tracking and traceability.

iChrom Solutions

Automated Internal Standard Addition

AISA™ – Automated Internal Standard Addition

Accurate automated internal standard addition using a loop in­jection method. A specified volume of internal standard is loaded in a loop using an integrated mini pump. The internal standard is then added to the sample during desorption of a blood spot using a high pressure dispenser (HPD™).

iChrom Solutions

Heated Capillary

HotCap™ – individual heating of solvents

HotCap™ is an optional heated capillary that rapidly heats solvents to improve desorption and sample recovery.

Extended sample capacity

The DBS Autosampler can handle a single card, or – with the optional expanded card feeder – up to 96 cards. At 4 spots per card, this allows for the unattended processing of up to 384 samples.

System Control

The DBS Autosampler from iChrom Solutions operates under control of the advanced CHRONOS software, a platform developed by Axel Semrau®.

Parallel Processes

CHRONOS software facilitates parallel processes for sample preparation and analysis. Using CHRONOS, a card spot may have a clean-up protocol executed on it, while the previous spot is being analyzed. Then – when the new spot is ready for elution, immediately after introduction into the chromatograph - a new spot may be processed in parallel.

In addition, CHRONOS organizes the connection to the mass spectrometer control and data system. Thus all CHRONOS-controlled systems are capable of processing multiple batches - even across multiple assays – quickly and reliably, with the highest analytical performance… fully unattended.

In addition, CHRONOS allows for seamless, single-table sample queues in numerous commercial mass spectrometer data acquisition and control software packages.

CHRONOS employs a clear, user-friendly interface, which minimizes the number of parameters that need to be changed; relevant values are recorded in tabular form, and only those values requiring change need be edited. This means a complete sample list can be generated conveniently in only a few steps.

A graphic representation of the sample processing is created at the touch of a button; overall duration and current progress can readily be followed in real time. Multi-stage sample preparation procedures can be run in parallel by means of an integrated algorithm. Here also, it is possible to call up a graphic representation of the sequence of events.

CHRONOS combines the sample list for the DBS Autosampler control with the MS data system list, so the user only has to administer one list. This simplifies queue handling and avoids errors which could be caused with multiple sample tables.

CHRONOS Summary Specifications:

(NOTE – only those specifications applying to CHRONOS control of the DBS Autosampler, as well as connections to commercial mass spectrometers, are itemized here. For a full list of all CHRONOS features and capabilities, contact Axel Semrau, GmbH & Co.)