Amino acids (AAs) are essential building blocks of every known life, including humans. They play an important role in organism homeostasis, so their circulated-free concentration should be carefully monitored. In human blood, amino acids are distributed between plasma and erythrocytes (RBC) based on their role and intrinsic properties. Free plasma AAs are typically more bioavailable but are also more prone to diet-related intraday fluctuations. AAs associated with erythrocytes are less susceptible to dietary composition, so they may serve as biomarkers of their long-term deficiency in the body. Monitoring the concentration of AAs in both plasma and RBCs fractions has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is optimal to monitor both parameters to fully assess the body's supply of individual amino acids.
The study conducted by the independent laboratory Masdiag presents the use of Ahlstrom's plasma separation cards (HemaSep-L) for free amino acid (AA) analysis. The study compares AAs concentrations in the fraction containing red blood cells (RBC) and in plasma obtained using a HemaSep-L separation card with results obtained for plasma fraction obtained by centrifugation. Obtained results were also compared with concentrations established in the dried blood spot (DBS) samples obtained by the classical approach. The comparison was conducted using venous blood.
It was found that HemaSep-L allows the observation of changes in the AA composition in blood plasma, which is impossible with a standard TFN screening card used for DBS analysis.
The method is fast and requires smaller amounts of samples in comparison to classical blood fractionation based on centrifugation.