Investigators at Tufts University in Boston have used matrices containing dried silk protein to encapsulate blood components and protect them from heat-induced damage encountered during nonrefrigeration (Kluge JA et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016;113:5892-5897). Currently, many protein markers degrade without proper temperature regulation, which compromises the quality and reliability of a variety of laboratory tests.
After collected blood is mixed with a silk protein solution, the resulting product is air dried, producing a solid thin film for storage and transport. When needed, blood samples are recovered by dissolving the silk matrix in water. While accurate starting volumes of a blood specimen must be known to calculate the final sample dilution during recovery, this can be addressed by obtaining precise volumetric measurements of the solution before mixing with the silk.
Hampton T. New Blood Stabilization Technique Relies on Silk Protein. JAMA. 2016;316(1):23. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8446