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Best Practices for Blood Collection

Quality results begin with quality sample collection. Plasma and serum are complex biological media. Failing to follow proper collection, storage, or handling protocols can easily result in data errors, wasting a lot of your time and money.

Before Collection

  • When preparing for any study involving blood collection, be sure to read up on the best collection time for your analyte based on circadian rhythms and – if your study involves interventions or manipulations – average response and recovery times (see our Analyte Guides and/or refer to the literature).
  • If the literature lacks guidance on rules of thumb for the optimal collection times for an analyte you wish to measure, we strongly recommend you conduct a pilot study.
  • Understand the confounds that you need to eliminate. These vary by analyte, so you will need to refer to the literature for guidance.
  • We recommend including the following data collection guidelines to all blood-collection studies:

Sample Collection

  • Whole blood samples should be collected via standard venipuncture procedures and should adhere to all biosafety guidelines for the safe collection and handing of human blood. We recommend collecting 2.5 to 3 times the desired volume of plasma or serum for each time point in your study.

  • Follow manufacturer recommendations for collection using your chosen collection tubes.

  • Ensure that your collection tubes contain an appropriate anticoagulant and invert tubes immediately after collection (refer to manufacturer recommendations for guidelines).

  • All samples must be appropriately and clearly labeled during sample collection. We recommend labeling without identifying participant information (please see our Labeling Guidelines and downloadable label templates).

Sample Storage

  • Follow collection tube manufacturer recommendations for appropriate clotting times prior to centrifugation (serum).

  • Centrifuge samples at 2-8°C in capped tubes within 2 hours of collection. If a refrigerated centrifuge is not available, samples can be centrifuged at room temperature.

  • Samples should be centrifuged for approximately 10-15 minutes at 1300-1800g.

    • Refer to centrifuge operating manual to convert g to RPM.

  • Once samples have been centrifuged, pipette supernatant plasma or serum into microcentrifuge tubes or polypropelene storage tubes.

    • While pipetting, ensure that red blood cells are not transferred. If red blood cells get disturbed during pipetting, repeat centrifugation before transferring the sample. Plasma or serum contaminated with red blood cells cannot be analyzed.

  • Freeze plasma or serum at -20ºC until you are ready to ship your sample if you plan to store your sample for less than 4 months prior to shipping.

  • Freeze samples at -80ºC if storing for more than 4 months prior to shipping.

  • Minimize freeze-thaw cycles to maintain sample integrity.

  • We strongly recommend that tubes be organized into cryostorage boxes before storing or shipping.

Important Note For Researchers

Following the Eos BioAnalytics Sample Collection Guidelines is crucial to ensure the highest quality sample. If you fail to comply with the collection, handling, storage, and shipping guidelines outlined here and in our Best Practices Guides, we cannot guarantee the quality of your results or the usability of your samples. In the event that we receive contaminated or otherwise compromised samples, a scientist from our research team will contact you to discuss analysis options.

Eos BioAnalytics is your hands-on research partner. We offer our clients and their biological samples the careful, individualized attention they deserve. And because we are intentionally small, we are able to do this while maintaining the strictest quality control standards in the business.
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