State of the Science in Dried Blood Spots
Freeman JD., Rosman LM., Ratcliff JD., Strickland PT., Graham DR., Silbergeld EK.
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:sec> <jats:title>BACKGROUND</jats:title> <jats:p>Advancements in the quality and availability of highly sensitive analytical instrumentation and methodologies have led to increased interest in the use of microsamples. Among microsamples, dried blood spots (DBS) are the most well-known. Although there have been a variety of review papers published on DBS, there has been no attempt at describing the full range of analytes measurable in DBS, or any systematic approach published for characterizing the strengths and weaknesses associated with adoption of DBS analyses.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>CONTENT</jats:title> <jats:p>A scoping review of reviews methodology was used for characterizing the state of the science in DBS. We identified 2018 analytes measured in DBS and found every common analytic method applied to traditional liquid samples had been applied to DBS samples. Analytes covered a broad range of biomarkers that included genes, transcripts, proteins, and metabolites. Strengths of DBS enable its application in most clinical and laboratory settings, and the removal of phlebotomy and the need for refrigeration have expanded biosampling to hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations. Weaknesses may limit adoption in the near term because DBS is a nontraditional sample often requiring conversion of measurements to plasma or serum values. Opportunities presented by novel methodologies may obviate many of the current limitations, but threats around the ethical use of residual samples must be considered by potential adopters.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title>SUMMARY</jats:title> <jats:p>DBS provide a wide range of potential applications that extend beyond the reach of traditional samples. Current limitations are serious but not intractable. Technological advancements will likely continue to minimize constraints around DBS adoption.</jats:p> </jats:sec>