Paper-based Dried Blood Spheroids for Stabilization of Labile Organic Compounds Stored in Ambient Air

Apparatus and methods to form three-dimensional dried blood spheroids on hydrophobic paper substrates.

The Need

Dried blood spots on paper substrates offer a facile sample collection, storage, and transportation approach for biofluids. However, variable diffusion, volcanic effects, analyte instability, and difficulty in recovering samples from paper plague this method, lowering confidence in analyte quantification. The conventional two-dimensional dried blood spot format on hydrophilic paper renders a major portion of the blood sample susceptible to oxidative stress from atmospheric air, diminishing integrity of the analyte with time. Therefore, a method for stabilizing labile analytes in biofluids without cold storage is needed.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Abraham Badu-Tawiah, have developed a novel dried blood spheroid collection platform. Blood spheroids form on hydrophobic paper and prevent interation between sample and paper substrate, eliminating all chromatographic, volcanic, and hematocrit effects. Through manipulation of the surface energy of the paper and the use of an organic spray solvent, selective extraction of target analytes may be performed, which allows enhanced paper spray mass spectrometry detection of cocaine, benzoylecgonine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine from the dried blood spheroids with sub-ng/mL limits of detection. Manipulation of solvent surface tension allows determination of surface energy of the porous hydrophobic paper substrate using only a simple multimeter detector and without contact angle measurements.

Commercial Applications

  • Newborn screening programs
  • Low-cost analytical diagnostic methods for use in resource-limited settings
  • Environmental research
  • Drug analysis
  • Long-term disease monitoring


  • Eliminates chromatographic and volcanic effects
  • Improves stability of labile analytes against oxidative stress during storage
  • Increases lifetime of labile analytes from days to several weeks without cold storage
  • Enables sub-ng/mL limits of detection

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