Clinical Microsampling Group

8 May 2017
Clinical Microsampling Group
From left to right: Prof Jason Roberts, Dr Suzanne Parker, Yarmarly Guerra Valero, Dr Tavey Dorofaeff and Dr Steven Wallis

The Clinical Microsampling Group (CMG) aims to replace traditional, highly invasive blood-taking techniques with an innovative microsampling approach that enables measuring drug concentrations in a drop of blood.

Studies which characterise drug concentrations in children are lacking and, consequently, clinicians do not know which doses should be used in these patients. In part, the lack of pharmacokinetic studies is due to the onerous blood sampling required: frequent sampling (5-8 times) of up to 5mL per sample. However, there are psychological and physiological burdens and risks associated with taking blood from babies, infants and children. Blood sampling is highly concerning to these vulnerable patients and their parents; it is frequently a factor of discussion for research ethics committees when considering whether a research project is acceptable. Recent advances in the sensitivity of the instruments that measure drugs now provide the opportunity to reduce blood sampling volumes.

The research undertaken by the CMG for a new approach to sampling can be applied to strategic PK studies to establish evidence-based, effective drug dosing regimens. For the babies, infants and children treated with our novel dosing regimens, they will have an easier fight and a better chance at getting home, where they belong.

This research is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the staff at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH) and BTCCRC.

Leading this team are the Chief Investigators: Dr Tavey Dorofaeff, Paediatric Intensivist, LCCH and Dr Suzanne Parker, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the BTCCRC. Investigators are Prof Jason Roberts, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy, BTCCRC and Prof Jeffrey Lipman, Professor of Medicine, BTCCRC.

The group is very grateful to Ian Potter Foundation who funded our microsampling robotic tool.