Dried blood spot collection of health biomarkers to maximize participation in population studies

J Vis Exp. 2014 Jan 28:(83):e50973. doi: 10.3791/50973.


Biomarkers are directly-measured biological indicators of disease, health, exposures, or other biological information. In population and social sciences, biomarkers need to be easy to obtain, transport, and analyze. Dried Blood Spots meet this need, and can be collected in the field with high response rates. These elements are particularly important in longitudinal study designs including interventions where attrition is critical to avoid, and high response rates improve the interpretation of results. Dried Blood Spot sample collection is simple, quick, relatively painless, less invasive then venipuncture, and requires minimal field storage requirements (i.e. samples do not need to be immediately frozen and can be stored for a long period of time in a stable freezer environment before assay). The samples can be analyzed for a variety of different analytes, including cholesterol, C-reactive protein, glycosylated hemoglobin, numerous cytokines, and other analytes, as well as provide genetic material. DBS collection is depicted as employed in several recent studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing / methods*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cholesterol