Dried blood and serum spots as a useful tool for sample storage to evaluate cancer biomarkers

Laura Mercatali, Patrizia Serra, Giacomo Miserocchi, Chiara Spadazzi, Chiara Liverani, Alessandro De Vita, Giorgia Marisi, Alberto Bongiovanni, Federica Recine, Akwilina Pangan, Nestory Masalu, Toni Ibrahim, Dino Amadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood sample quality is crucial to ensure accurate downstream analyses such as real-time PCR or ELISA. Correct storage of biological materials is the starting point to achieve reproducible and reliable results. All samples should be treated in the same way from blood collection to storage. Depending on the analyses to be performed, whole blood and serum samples should be stored at-20 °C or-80 °C until use. Blood/serum samples should also be aliquoted to avoid multiple freeze-thawing. Another important issue is the sample conditions during shipment from one laboratory to another. If dry ice is not available or the shipment takes longer than a few days, alternative approaches are needed. One option is to use filter paper for blood collection. Here, we propose a method for blood and serum sample collection that takes advantage of dried blood spots (DBS) and dried serum spots (DSS). We developed the procedure to extract DNA from DBS for the downstream evaluation of some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by real time PCR. We also optimized an ELISA assay starting from proteins eluted from DSS. This method can be used with other ELISA assays or procedures evaluating proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere57113
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number136
Publication statusPublished - Jun 11 2018


  • Blood
  • Cancer biomarkers
  • Cancer research
  • Dried blood spot
  • Dried serum spot
  • Issue 136
  • Sample storage
  • Serum/plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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