The use of BD Vacutainer® Barricor™ tubes (BAR) can reduce turnaround time (TAT) and improve separation of plasma from cellular components using a specific mechanical separator. Concentrations of amino acids (AAs) and cytokines, known to be labile during pre-analytical time delays, were compared in heparin (BAR, BD Heparin standard tube [PST]), EDTA and serum gel tubes (SER) to validate previously identified quality indicators (QIs) in BAR. Samples of healthy individuals (n=10) were collected in heparin, EDTA and SER tubes and exposed to varying pre- and post-centrifugation delays at room temperature (RT). Cytokines (interleukin [IL]-8, IL-16 and sCD40L) were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and AAs were characterized by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). All QIs, AAs/AA ratio and cytokines increased during prolonged blood storage in heparin plasma (PST, BAR) and SER tubes. Comparison of 53 h/1 h pre-centrifugation delay resulted in an increase in taurine (Tau) and glutamic acid (Glu) concentrations by more than three times, soluble CD40L increased by 13.6, 9.2 and 4.3 fold in PST, BAR-CTRL and BAR-FAST, and IL-8 increased even more by 112.8 (PST), 266.1 (BAR-CTRL), 268.1 (BAR-FAST) and 70.0 (SER) fold, respectively. Overall, compared to prolonged blood storage, effects of post-centrifugation delays were less pronounced in all tested materials. BAR tubes are compatible with the use of several established QIs and can therefore be used in clinical biobanking to reduce pre-analytical TAT without compromising QIs and thus pre-analytical sample quality analysis.
- BD Vacutainer Barricor™ (BAR)
- pre-analytical time delay
- quality indicator (QI)