Scientists Developed Novel Method to Store Biological Samples without Refrigeration
Researchers from University of Washington developed an alternative storage method for biological specimens using nano metal organic hybrid structures
Biological samples and specimens such as such as blood and urine require special handling, transport, and storage. Conventionally, these samples are refrigerated while for shipping and storage. Requirement of cold storage can be challenging for people, where refrigeration and electricity are limited or unavailable. News study carried out by researchers at the Washington University reported that biological samples can be stored for long time using metal-organic hybrid structures with the help of nanotechnology. Samples were observed to maintain 95% of their purity using this method. Also, information regarding health-care practices was also retained.
“Once you are ready to analyze the sample, you extract everything from the paper back into liquid,” said Srikanth Singamaneni, associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. The research team used a nanoporous material to shrink wrap protein biomarkers in blood and urine samples by growing crystals around the molecules. Shrink-wrapped molecules were transferred to standard lab filter paper, which can be shipped at any temperature to a lab for testing after drying. This method effectively maintained the integrity of the biospecimens.
As a part of study, artificial urine samples spiked with neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipcalin (NGAL), and blood samples spiked with CA-125, a biomarker for ovarian cancer was examined. The team mixed the samples with precursors of the nanoporous material ZIF-8 and allowed them to dry on the paper at room temperature. Using standard bioanalytical techniques, the team determined that the samples with ZIF-8 encapsulation had more than 95 percent of NGAL preserved. “One of our next steps is to take the technology out of the laboratory and commercialize it so that it can work for greatest number of people,” said Kharasch, director of the Center for Clinical Pharmacology.
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