Tomtec DBS

Patented Dried Blood Spot Innovation

Since the fall of 2009 Tomtec has taken a leadership role in advancing the art of dried blood spots (DBS) bio-sampling focused on the preclinical and clinical markets. We offer a wide range of solutions supporting the entire work flow from sample collection, harvesting, storing to eluting.


Tomtec has developed a new class of patented DBS systems and methods which leverages prior art in Bioanalytical automation, GLP, and maintaining chain of custody.  We have integrated that knowledge into our DBS bio-sampling instruments, leveraging our pre-etched bar-coded PDMS cards.


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Patent Number 9546935

PDMS Slides




Tomtec has developed a family of pre-etched cards that have improved the quality and quantity of samples to be reclaimed from the perforated material. Rather than extract a 3 or 5mm punch, which may contain varying levels of blood content, i.e., Hematocrit, the new cards allow a lab to recover the entire sample. This was achieved by punching out the saturated etched target which improved both qualitative and quantitative test results.


Tomtec provides multiple perforated spot sizes. Our PDMS4 uses a 6mm spot, the largest size that can be eluted in the 96 well format.  The PDMS4-B has a 3/6 inch spot, which may be eluted in a 48 well plate. The PDMS4-C has a ½ inch spot and can be eluted into a 24 well tissue culture plate, providing the availability of more sample to the user.

The AutoDBS-1 is the first in a line of low cost DBS bio-sampling instrument, designed to simplify the extraction of blood components from a Tomtec or third-party DBS Card via a 3 or 5 mm punch. This semi-manually operated instrument interfaces with LIMS to track the extracted plugs as they are transferred to 96 well assays. Sample tracking is maintained via the barcode on each Tomtec PDMS card.  To extract a plug, a user places the Tomtec PDMS card on an indexing tray. The designated target is back lit to identify it. The user then positions the targeted spot under a set of illuminated cross-hairs and the plug is automatically extracted.

The AutoDBS-3 is the first in a line of next generation instruments that leverages Tomtec advancements in pre-etched PDMS cards. The AutoDBS-3 is a proof of concept platform that allows users to deploy a full GLP workflow for DBS-bio sampling leveraging the Tomtec family of pre-etched PDMS cards. This semi-manual instrument works in conjunction with a MS Excel driven application running on a connected Windows based personal computer:


1)  The PDMS card is placed on the instrument and bar-code scanned.

2)  Motors then place the highlighted spot over the target assay well.

3)  The user is then prompted to punch the highlighted spot into the assay.

4)  The user clicks Next on the PC, and the procedure repeats. This is done for all nine spots on the card.


After the card is punched, it is removed from the instrument and the process starts again.  Although this is not a walk-away automation workflow, the platform does provide full GLP and Chain of Custody for the transfer process. Follow-up generations will leverage the automation techniques Tomtec has developed over decades and apply that knowledge to fully automating the harvest and transfer of PDMS targets to 96-well assays.

Tomtec has designed the new AutoDBS-4 to meet the growing demands of International Newborn Screening programs.  With versatility in mind, the AutoDBS-4 will punch via it’s 3 or 6mm head, from any dry blood spot sample card, into a prepared microtitration plate.  Up to  ten 96 well sample plates may be used, with the option of two plates being deep well.