Friday, July 23, 2004
This presentation is part of : Multisite Research: Building Community Among Diverse Members of a Research Team
Challenges of Collecting and Transporting Biological Samples
Paula Vasek, RN, School of Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Wyoming, School of Nursing, Laramie, WY, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to describe the process involved in collection and transport of biomarker samples from multiple rural sites.

Definition of the Concept: Biomarkers can be used in intervention research as indirect measures of outcomes. In order for biomarkers to be helpful, they must be specific, sensitive, robust, predictive, non-invasive, and link preclinical and clinical systems. In addition, the biomarker must be stable enough to make it from the clinical setting to the laboratory where it is to be analyzed.

Application: Oligosaccharide levels were used as a biomarker in our breastfeeding intervention research. Ninety seven percent of oligosaccharides in consumed breast milk pass into the feces. Consequently, oligosaccharides were measured in both breast-milk and stool samples. Obtaining adequate sample, storing samples at appropriate temperatures and transporting samples to the laboratory for analysis created several challenges. In addition, training was required for the transport of bio-hazardous material and maintaining specimens frozen during transport from remote to urban areas were particularly problematic.

Conclusion: Maintaining the integrity of the biologic samples has always been a critical factor that presents unique challenges in rural settings. With the changes in the postal system to protect the public from bio-hazardous materials, the process of preparing and shipping samples brings this process to a new level of complexity. This session will describe strategies to address these challenges. Examples from an existing multi-site project will be discussed.

Back to Multisite Research: Building Community Among Diverse Members of a Research Team
Back to 15th International Nursing Research Congress
Sigma Theta Tau International
July 22-24, 2004