In force

Robust comparison of serum analytes from standard serum collections and Tasso+ SST microcapillary collections

Principal investigator
G. Miller
United States
Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory
Year approved
Anabolic steroids, EPO-ESA, Growth Hormone (GH)

Project description

Code: 23A17GM

While most anti-doping testing is conducted in urine, several analytes are better monitored in serum, including human growth hormone (hGH), certain erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs), insulin-growth factor 1 (IGF1) and procollagen type-III N-terminal peptide (PIIINP). Additionally, more attention has recently been given to the longitudinal monitoring of the steroids testosterone (T) and androstenedione (A4) in serum. However, several factors currently make collecting anti-doping serum samples difficult and expensive, including the need for trained phlebotomists, the cold chain monitored shipping requirements, and the discomfort and difficulty of venipuncture blood draws, which may be uncomfortable and inconvenient for frequently tested athletes. In the last 5-10 years, there has been a push for increased testing using dried blood spots (DBS), obtainable using finger prick collections or specialized capillary draw devices. While innovative, not all analytes are easily measured in DBS, mainly due to sensitivity issues and lack of a controlled collection volumes. Recently, the Tasso+ capillary collection device has been adjusted and improved to now allow collection of whole blood instead of just DBS. Although this may not overcome all of the cold-chain shipping issues, collection of whole blood from a capillary device removes the phlebotomy requirement which can decrease collection costs, open up testing to more remote areas (more easily), and improve the athlete experience of providing blood samples. In 2022, our team highlighted the benefits of collecting whole blood using microcapillary Tasso+ K2EDTA devices, and how this method could serve as a replacement for Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) analysis from venous, whole blood samples. Now, the possibility exists to use this technology to also collect serum samples. We propose to use the newly designed Tasso+ SST devices to collect capillary serum from volunteers and compare analytical results to serum collected from a standard venipuncture method. Here, we will compare the capillary and venous serum for EPO detection following a single dose administration of recombinant EPO (identification and detection window), and measurement of the serum steroids T and A4 before and after a transdermal testosterone application. Additionally, we will compare the measurement of recombinant and pituitary HGH in matched capillary and venous samples, and finally assess the longitudinal stability of IGF-1 and P3NP in both types of serum.