Blood and serum are widely used as samples for proteome analysis. A review of the literature shows that the difference between serum and plasma samples is not assessed by many investigators.
There also appears to be a lack of understanding of the issues necessary for processing plasma and serum samples for analysis.
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The main difference between plasma and serum is the removal of fibrinogen and associated proteins such as high molecular weight and the addition of variable cell secretion products as a result of the clotting process.
Factors affecting plasma quality include selection, treatment, and storage of anticoagulants. Factors affecting serum quality include the site of collection and the time of clot collection. Various approaches to removing high volume proteins such as albumin and immunoglobulin G.
Blood is a very popular source of biological samples for proteome analysis, leading to the identification of biomarkers. Blood samples are relatively easy to collect, samples are technically and psychologically easy to handle.
While each search for biomarkers is a challenge in itself, the following recommendations are presented as starting points:
-The serum is preferred over plasma and should be collected in a glass container stored for the same period of time.
-One hour is recommended at 25 ± C. Stability studies are recommended after the initial study. If plasma is used, EDTA is recommended as an anticoagulant and the procedure is exactly the same as for plasma.