The use of BD Vacutainer® Barricor™ tubes (BAR) can reduce turnaround time (TAT) and improve separation of plasma from cellular components using a specific mechanical separator. Concentrations of amino acids (AAs) and cytokines, known to be labile during pre-analytical time delays, were compared in heparin (BAR, BD Heparin standard tube [PST]), EDTA and serum gel tubes (SER) to validate previously identified quality indicators (QIs) in BAR.
Samples of healthy individuals (n=10) were collected in heparin, EDTA and SER tubes and exposed to varying pre- and post-centrifugation delays at room temperature (RT). Cytokines (interleukin [IL]-8, IL-16 and sCD40L) were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and AAs were characterized by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
All QIs, AAs/AA ratio and cytokines increased during prolonged blood storage in heparin plasma (PST, BAR) and SER tubes. Comparison of 53 h/1 h pre-centrifugation delay resulted in an increase in taurine (Tau) and glutamic acid (Glu) concentrations by more than three times, soluble CD40L increased by 13.6, 9.2 and 4.3 fold in PST, BAR-CTRL and BAR-FAST, and IL-8 increased even more by 112.8 (PST), 266.1 (BAR-CTRL), 268.1 (BAR-FAST) and 70.0 (SER) fold, respectively. Overall, compared to prolonged blood storage, effects of post-centrifugation delays were less pronounced in all tested materials.
BAR tubes are compatible with the use of several established QIs and can therefore be used in clinical biobanking to reduce pre-analytical TAT without compromising QIs and thus pre-analytical sample quality analysis.
Funding source: BMBF
Award Identifier / Grant number: 01EK1505B
We thank Kerstin Stein for her support in sample collection and AA analysis at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Diagnostics and the Integrated Biobank in Jena (IBBJ) for excellent technical assistance in sample collection, transport and storage.
Research funding: The study was funded by the BMBF (01EK1505B). The funding organization played no role in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the article or in the decision to submit the article for publication.
Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.
Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.
Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.
Ethical approval: Human sample collections of the study followed all relevant national regulations, institutional policies and have been approved by the Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Jena and the CNER, Comité National d’Ethique de Recherche Luxembourg.
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