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Room Temperature Storage of Biological Specimen

Technology #20130180

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Biological SpecimenCryogenic Storage
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Researchers
Alptekin Aksan, PhD
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering
External Link (www.me.umn.edu)
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Kevin Anderson
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-8293
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed

Blood, Serum and other Liquid Biospecimen Storage

Isothermal vitrification technology provides stable, long-term room-temperature storage of liquid biospecimens such as blood or serum. A lyoprotectant cocktail, which includes excipients that protect and stabilize biomarkers, is electrospun into a non-woven adsorbing/dissolving matrix that readily and homogenously mixes with liquid biological samples. Vacuum drying the samples rapidly desiccates them into a viscous, glassy state that stabilizes the biomarkers, allowing long-term room-temperature storage. When rehydrated after storage, the five different biomarkers used in proof-of-concept data yielded 90 to 98 percent recovery of the proteins.

Alternative to Cryogenic Storage

This isothermal vitrification storage method offers a safe and cost effective alternative to frozen state storage and improves sample accessibility. Room temperature storage spares proteins and biomarkers from damage associated with cooling, freezing and cryogenic storage, such as freeze/thaw cycles that can alter protein structure and/or activity. Safety is further improved because toxic chemicals such as DMSO are no longer required. This technology also reduces transportation and both short and long term storage costs, especially those associated with the purchase, housing and maintenance of the large freezers in which most biofluid biospecimens are cryogenically stored.

Facilitates Biomarker Discovery and Validation

Identifying cancer biomarkers may allow early disease detection, monitoring of disease progression and/or therapeutic response, and could one day reduce mortality, improve quality of life and minimize healthcare costs. However, this discovery and validation process has been slow to progress, and of the thousands of molecular signatures being evaluated, less than two dozen have been approved by FDA, due in part to poor stability and less-than-optimal biospecimen storage conditions. The considerably less stringent storage requirement afforded by this technology will be valuable in keeping samples viable for future research, facilitating the process of biomarker discovery and validation.

BENEFITS AND FEATURES OF ROOM TEMPERATURE STORAGE OF BIOLOGICAL SPECIMENS:

  • Identifying highly sensitive and specific cancer biomarkers can significantly reduce mortality, improve quality of life and minimize healthcare costs
  • Samples remain viable when not subjected to freeze/thaw cycles
  • Cost-effective room-temperature storage eliminates expensive freezers and ongoing  electricity and maintenance costs
  • Blood samples the entire body and can be easily collected frequently and with minimal risk

Phase of Development Pre-clinical validation