A novel blood collection device stabilizes cell-free RNA in blood during sample shipping and storage

Jianbing Qin, Thomas L. Williams, M. Rohan Fernando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Background: Cell-free RNA (cfRNA) naturally occurs in blood and has clinical significance. Accurate quantification of these extracellular RNAs in whole blood is hindered by the simultaneous unintended release of cellular RNA and degradation of cfRNA after blood draw. An appropriate blood collection device is needed to stabilize cfRNA during blood processing, transportation and storage, which will ensure cfRNA test reliability. In this study we compared a novel blood collection device against traditional K§ssub§3§ esub§EDTA tubes for its ability to stabilize cfRNA in blood when subjected to conditions that can occur during sample storage and shipping. Findings. Shipping blood samples drawn into K§ssub§3§esub§EDTA tubes showed a significant increase in mRNA copy numbers for β-actin, c-fos, and 18S rRNA in plasma. In contrast, shipping blood drawn into Cell-Free RNA BCT™s (BCTs) showed only a slight change in mRNA copy numbers for circulating β-actin, c-fos, and 18S rRNA. Moreover, blood stored in K§ssub§3§esub§EDTA tubes at 6°C, 22°C and 30°C for 3 days showed a significant increase in mRNA copy numbers for c-fos and β-actin, whereas samples stored in BCTs only showed a slight increase. Conclusion: Our results show that BCTs minimize increases in background RNA levels caused by temperature fluctuations or agitation that can occur during blood sample storage and shipping. This novel blood collection tube could provide a method for obtaining high quality stabilized cfRNA samples for rare RNA target detection and determining accurate cfRNA concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number380
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 30 2013



  • Blood collection device
  • Blood preservation
  • Cell-free RNA stability
  • Clinical laboratory techniques
  • Real-time polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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