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Automated Mitra® with VAMS® Technology for Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling

13 July 2023 Posted by: makeyourmark Uncategorized

What is Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling?

Volumetric absorptive microsampling is a method of collecting small volumes of biological samples, such as blood,  for a variety of analyses. It’s especially common in medical and research fields where a limited supply of sample material is available or when samples need to be drawn repeatedly from the same individual. VAMS® is an adaptation of the microsampling process and collects a fixed-volume sample of dried blood for testing. It bears similarity to the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) technique; however, devices based on volumetric microsampling avoid issues related to sample accuracy and the hematocrit (HCT) effect that is seen with DBS. 

Historically,  blood samples have been collected intravenously, drawing larger volumes of blood into collection tubes. Volumetric microsampling, however, offers an alternative approach by allowing for the precise, controlled collection of smaller, predetermined volumes of blood or other biological fluids. Normally, volumetric microsampling  involves the use of specialized devices designed to collect exact volumes ranging from a few to a few hundred microliters. Simply put, the devices are designed to be minimally invasive, often only requiring a finger prick to collect an adequate sample. 

ILT’s Work With Automated Mitra® for VAMS®

Recently, ILT collaborated with the Neoteryx microsampling team at Trajan Scientific and Medical and Element Cambridge to figure out how to automate Mitra® microsamplers with VAMS® tips prior to extraction. ILT caps and septa were used in testing, providing secure seals for collection containers throughout the experiment process. Read more about the partnership and project here. Read more about the seals and septa industry on our blog page or learn more about ILT, a world leader in manufacturing seals and septa here.

Benefits of VAMS® Devices

Volumetric microsampling holds quite a few advantages over traditional blood drawing methods. First and foremost, microsampling is much more efficient than traditional blood draws. The reduced volume of the collected sample means that the entire process is quicker and more painless for the patient. This is especially favorable when working with pediatric patients, or those with limited blood volume. Most microsampling devices are very portable, making them a prime choice to improve patient accessibility and collection experiences. Instead of having to go into a doctor’s office for a draw, patients can simply collect their own samples at home and mail the samples to the laboratory at their own discretion. Also, clinical trials that once required participants to come to a single location for blood draws can open their testing pool across state lines. Decentralized trials that offer remote sample collection can increase patient enrollment and promote data equity as the window of opportunity widens to allow for more diverse patients. 

In an economical sense, microsampling can cut costs for patients and laboratories alike. Because the samples are dried, they don’t require cold shipping. Also, the size of the samples allows for easier storage and transportation, as sample shipping requires less packaging and special handling, saving time and money that can be applied elsewhere.  

In the laboratory, it has been shown that microsampling actually increases the precision of analyses. A smaller sample volume means there is less of a need for sample dilution, which could affect the accuracy and sensitivity of analytical techniques. Microsampling also streamlines the laboratory workflow, allowing for the introduction of automated sample processing systems. 

Case Study: Mitra® with VAMS® Devices & COVID-19

When COVID-19 swept across the globe three years ago, laboratories and research facilities were forced to turn to fully remote collection methods to test and develop COVID-related samples and clinical trials. Using Mitra® devices based on VAMS® technology, scientists were able to receive high-quality blood samples through the mail that were collected at home. The findings gained from the usage of Mitra® devices led scientists to a better understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s seroprevalence, as well as antigen levels and antibody responses, paving the way for the development of the COVID vaccines.