Blood, placenta, cord, saliva, urine, meconium, nails, hair… There are many biological samples that are collected throughout the study, but how are those samples processed and where are saved?
Samples collected at the hospital or at home, arrive at the laboratory where they are treated and stored specifically, depending on the type of biological material, the application of the sample or the expected storage time, among other aspects. Some examples include blood samples, urine samples, nails or hair samples.
In the case of blood, the collected tubes are placed in a centrifugal apparatus that, thanks to a rotary movement, allows the main components of the blood to be separated according to their density. With this apparatus it is possible to separate: plasma, serum, red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets. Once separated the different components are stored individually and frozen (-80 ° C), a type of freezing that allows the storage of samples for long periods of time and prevents the degradation of the biomolecules present.
Blood samples processing.
On the other hand, in the case of urine samples, they are stored in smaller tubes and a pool is prepared with a small portion of each urine to obtain a representative sample of urine throughout the week, we measure the density and the temperature of the pool. Daily samples are frozen (-20 ° C) and the weekly mixture are deep-frozen (-80 ° C).
We also have samples such as hair or nails that do not have to be processed and are simply stored at room temperature until they are used.
Hair and nails samples.
Therefore, once the sample arrives at the laboratory, it is very important to follow the relevant protocol in order to guarantee the correct preservation of the samples and its usefulness for future studies.
The text has been written by Aida Perramon, environmental and laboratory technician from the BiSC project.