NanoInk Platform Proven to Reproducibly Detect Protein Biomarkers From Dried Blood Spot Samples

Effectively Reducing Immunoassay Blood Volume Requirements and Lowering Patient Risk for Anemia; Nano BioDiscovery Is Now Offering DBS Contract Services

SKOKIE, IL--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2011) - The Nano BioDiscovery Division of NanoInk, Inc.® provides a new generation of array-based instrument systems, assay kits, and contract services for nanoscale protein studies. Based on patented Dip Pen Nanolithography® (DPN®) technology, tests run on NanoInk's NanoArray Assay System consume much smaller sample volumes than do traditional ELISA and bead-based assays, generating more data with less starting material and minimizing the amount of patient blood needed for analysis.

Recent experimental data generated from samples collected in the clinic and in the field show that NanoInk nanoarray assays enable detection, identification, and quantitation of clinically relevant, low abundance protein biomarkers from samples collected on dried blood spots (DBS). DBS samples are drops of whole blood collected on paper cards using a finger-stick blood draw technique. DBS sample collection has the advantage of being minimally invasive, low cost, amenable to non-clinical settings, and requiring only 50 µl of blood (versus 10 ml for many venipuncture collections).

Despite these many benefits, DBS samples are unsuitable for detecting low-abundance proteins on most traditional immunoassay platforms. DBS samples are generally analyzed by eluting a 3 mm punch of blood (which contains about 1.7 µl serum) in an appropriate amount of buffer and then adding this diluted sample to the selected protein assay. Most ELISAs consume 100 µl of sample. Even if multiple 3 mm DBS punches are eluted into the required 100 µl of buffer, rare sample analytes are diluted to a level that falls below ELISA detection limitations. For these reasons, DBS sample studies have been mainly limited to small molecule detection and lower-throughput protein analysis methods (like GC/MS.)

According to Bruce Dudzik, Vice President of NanoInk's Nano BioDiscovery Division, "High-throughput NanoInk assays powered by DPN technology require only 2-4 µl of sample and can achieve detection sensitivities in the sub-picogram/ml range, making them ideal for DBS sample-based protein biomarker screening applications."

In a recently completed project, NanoInk has demonstrated the ability to detect four clinically relevant cytokines in DBS samples taken from healthy volunteers using the NanoArray Assay System. After eluting 3 mm punches of DBS sample in 20 µl of buffer, 4-5 µl of sample was added into each multiplexed nanoarray assay well and analyzed for IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, and TNF-α on the robotic instrument-compatible NanoArray Assay System. Cytokine elution from DBS cards was shown to exhibit liner recoveries and low coefficients of variance and each cytokine was detectable at the single pictogram/ml level.

An ongoing collaborative study between NanoInk and Dr. Thomas McDade of Northwestern University has also shown the feasibility of using DBS samples collected outside the clinic to analyze cytokine biomarkers. As part of a National Institute of Health-supported investigation into how local cultural transitions associated with globalization affect child/adolescent health, DBS samples have been collected in the field from populations in Bolivia and successfully analyzed on the NanoArray Assay System. The fact that DBS sampling is a minimally invasive and simple-to-perform collection technique is a valuable advantage in the field. In addition, DBS samples are simple to transport and store and they are relatively stable.

The small sample size requirement of DBS collection is critically important in the hospital setting. In a study of almost 18,000 patients in 57 US hospitals published by the Archives of Internal Medicine on August 8, 2011, data shows that patients who enter the hospital due to a heart attack often leave with hospital-acquired anemia (HAA) caused by laboratory test blood draws. HAA is associated with higher mortality and worse health status. The volume of venous blood drawn for a laboratory test ranges from 5 ml - 10 ml/blood collection tube. By contrast, DBS samples require only 50 µl of blood. The Archives of Internal Medicine report concludes that by using smaller blood samples hospitals may be able to reduce the amount of patient blood loss, and hence reduce the incidence of HAA. DBS sampling techniques combined with NanoInk assay technology offer a promising alternative to traditional blood tube collection and immunoassay analysis.

Please visit or call (847)679-3432 for more information on the Nano BioDiscovery Division and its techniques for using DBS samples to screen for low-abundance protein biomarkers.

About NanoInk
NanoInk, Inc. is an emerging growth technology company specializing in nanometer-scale manufacturing and applications development for the life sciences, engineering, pharmaceutical, and education industries. Using Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN), a patented and proprietary nanofabrication technology, scientists are enabled to rapidly and easily create micro-and nanoscale structures from a variety of materials on a range of substrates. This low cost, easy to use and scalable technique brings sophisticated nanofabrication to the laboratory desktop. Headquartered in the Illinois Science + Technology Park, north of Chicago, NanoInk currently has several divisions including the NanoFabrication Systems Division, the Nano BioDiscovery Division, the NanoProfessor™ Division and the NanoGuardian™ Division. For more information on products and services offered by NanoInk, Inc., visit

NanoInk, the NanoInk logo, Dip Pen Nanolithography, DPN, NanoGuardian and NanoProfessor are trademarks or registered trademarks of NanoInk, Inc.

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