The new integrity
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is FTD™?

FTD™ is Spark Holland’s unique patented technology (US patent no. US 8586382 B2).  Replaceable clamp heads of an appropriate size close on the center of the dried blood spot on the DBS card with sufficient force to form a leak-tight seal. The clamp inlet and outlet are connected to a switching valve in a loop type configuration allowing it to flush the content of the clamped spot area in a flow-through manner into an analytical system using a suitable desorption solvent delivered by a high pressure dispenser (HPD™).

Why is DBS sampling an advantage?

Dried blood spot sample collection is an alternative to venous puncture liquid sample collection.  It is particularly useful when only small original sample volumes as small as 5-15 µL are reasonably available.

Because the special DBS sample card is then dried, it can even be stored at a normal ambient temperature and easily transported.  The finger stick and/or heel prick methods used to collect DBS samples enable sample collection in various nonclinical settings.  This may offer the advantage of patients being able to take their own blood samples in the comfort of their own home – saving patient stress and transport costs, and provides a convenient sampling option in remote locations where medical facilities are not readily available.

How have dried blood spot samples traditionally been recovered from DBS cards for processing?

Traditionally, a small section has been cut or punched from the centre of the DBS as a disc, and placed in a tube or well plate where it is immersed in a solvent to reconstitute the sample in a liquid format.  This process often includes additional equipment shaking and/or heating the sample from the disc.  When carried out manually, this can be a tedious and labor-intensive process for large numbers of samples.  Automated punching solutions require costly robotic systems to control sample and paper dust from the punching action, as well as eliminating static electricity to properly place the disc into a well plate.  Most automated punching systems then require a manual transfer of the well plate for further processing of the DBS into a liquid sample.

What are the advantages of Spark Holland's new DBS Autosampler™ versus automated punching solutions?

Spark Holland’s new DBS Autosampler™ uses patented Flow-through desorption (FTD™) technology to elute the dried blood spot, or other dried matrix spot, samples into a liquid sample ready for automated on-line clean up by SPE and analysis by mass spec, or off-line sample collection for other analytical techniques.  Combined with other DBS Autosampler™ features such as Intelligent Vision Camera (IVC™), and Automated Internal Standard Addition (AISA™) sample integrity and traceability is maintained with no manual intervention required!