Overview of the History and Applications of Dried Blood Samples

W. Harry Hannon, Bradford L. Therrell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


For almost 100 years, biological fluids collected on special "filter" paper have been used for analytical testing. These specimens have been used in a large number of fields of study including: newborn screening; epidemiology (field testing); infectious diseases; environmental research; forensics; therapeutic drug monitoring; illicit drug analysis; toxicology; and toxico- and pharmacokinetic studies of drugs and candidate drugs. While a conceptually simple process, accurate analyses of liquid specimens dried onto paper pose a number of complex analytical challenges. Historically, evidence of liquid biological specimens collected on paper appears as far back as 780 AD. Their documented use for analytical processes, however, dates only to the early 1900s. The most popular and widespread use of blood collected on special filter paper began in the early 1960s with the work of Guthrie. Because of his success in establishing dried blood as the specimen of choice for newborn screening, an effective public health prevention program reaching around the globe, significant attention has been paid to the challenges that must be addressed to ensure accurate analysis. In the future, previous experiences in using biological specimens in filter paper sample matrices will likely evolve into other advanced analytical uses utilizing many of the newly developed specimen collection products currently available. Undoubtedly, this evolution will benefit from the improved analytical precision and accuracy that has evolved in dried biological specimen analysis over time. This chapter carefully reviews the history and experiences of numerous researchers in implementing and improving the analysis of biological specimens collected on filter paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDried Blood Spots
Subtitle of host publicationApplications and Techniques
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781118890837
ISBN (Print)9781118054697
StatePublished - Jun 30 2014


  • Advantages and disadvantages of dried specimens
  • Analytes in dried matrix
  • Dried blood spots
  • Dried specimen applications
  • Filter paper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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