Skip to content
DSC_6753-Vitas-Analytical-Services.jpg – Vitas Analytical Services

Dried blood spot (DBS) services

The collection of whole blood samples on paper, known as dried blood spot (DBS), dates back to the early 1960s in new-born infant screening for inherited metabolic disorders. DBS offers several advantages compared to conventional blood collection. It is less invasive, easier to transport and store, with reduced risk of infection from various pathogens, and it only requires a few drops of blood.

The DBS blood collection platform is rapidly becoming an important basis for quantitative analysis of biomarkers.

The QuantifiedSelf movement is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person's daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousal, blood oxygen, glucos, lipids and other biomarkers), and performance (mental and physical).

Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEG, ECG) collection of biosamples in a non or minimal invasive way  and wearable computing, is also known as lifelogging. 

As an important provider of the minimally invasive blood collecting plarrform, DBS and analysis of biomarkers from this sample type, Vitas is very well positioned to becom an important and intergral part of this upcomming megatrend.

When DBS is used, a small amount of animal or human blood is collected usually from the fingertip, the heal (new-born) of the ear/tail/hind leg (animals) and spotted onto a collection card (DBS card) that is then air dried, stored, and shipped in a special bag at room temperature to a laboratory for analysis. One or several circles are punched out of the DBS card and analysed using a bio analytical method validated for the biomarker in question.

The benefits of using DBS as a blood collection technique are many:

Possibility of collecting the sample at remote locations like:

  • At home by yourself, family or home healthcare personnel

  • In a classroom situation

  • In the field

  • At the pharmacy

  • At the gym or when training outside

  • During or before and after sport competitions

  • When seeing a nutritionist or a health couch

Additional benefits 

  • There is no need to have a doctor present as for venepuncture

  • DBS is a minimally invasive technique with minimal pain

  • Only a few drops of blood is needed

  • Samples can be shipped by regular mail in normal room temperature

  • The long term stability of DBS is usually very good at -20 ⁰C or even at room temperature

The DBS collection kit

Vitas offer several types of kits for DBS blood collection. Single kits in a box to be sent home by regular mail to individual persons or sets for larger studies (100-100 000 kits). Please contact us to discuss what would suite your needs best.

Custom assay development

We develop on request assays for most biomarkers. The degree of assay validation is agreed with sponsor.  There are many options for reporting.

Techniques usually applied for DBS biomarker analysis are:



  • GC-MS

  • GC-FID

  • ICP-MS


Typical biomarkers are:

  • Fatty Acids

  • Cholesterol, triglycerides,

  • Vitamins

  • Carotenoids

  • Inflammation markers

  • C-peptide, glucose, CRP, IGF-1, PYY, Insulin, HbA1c, etc

  • Amino acids

Please see examples for allready established DBS assays on the application page (link below) and illustrated DBS collection instructions and video in the right column.