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Lab Reports
July 5, 2016

New Blood Stabilization Technique Relies on Silk Protein

JAMA. 2016;316(1):23. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8446

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[21]: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.

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