Biological Samples Preserved Using Nanotechnology, Not Refrigeration


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A team of scientists from the Washington University in St. Louis has created a way to preserve protein biomarkers used in clinical trials. This method does not even require refrigeration, they said, but the application of nanotechnology.

The team said that their method relies on the metal-organic frameworks or the growing molecules that surround the proteins in a clinical sample. Doing so will allow clinicians in low-resource and remote settings to send the patient samples through far distances for analysis with the use of normal mail service.

They shared in their study that taking blood samples to see protein biomarkers usually needs refrigerated courier services so that these can be transported to the nearest or a far clinical lab. These types of services, however, are too expensive and not always available. That is why they reasoned that the new technique is a low-cost alternative.

The scientists claimed that their technique demands protein “shrink wrapping.” The proteins are shrink-wrapped in the urine or blood samples for added protection. They will also combine nanoporous materials, which they refer as metal-organic frameworks.

The researchers can then dry the sample onto a standard lab filter paper before they bring it to a clinical lab for its analysis.  Srikanth Singamaneni, who worked together with the team, said, “We showed that this method maintains the integrity of the biospecimens.”