15. Long-term Storage of Biospecimens at Room Temperature

Kendall Hartline Thomas More College, Jack Boylan Not Affiliated with a College/University, Kavya Koneru Not Affiliated with a College/University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Meenakshi Bansal Thomas More College, Gautam Gupta University of Louisville
Conventional methods used to store biospecimens include cryodesiccation, storage solutions, refrigeration and freezing; however, these techniques can pose numerous disadvantages as they can be costly, space-limited, temperature-dependent, and cause physical damage to the biospecimens. Silica sol gels have been presented as an alternative to conventional storage methods, due to their cost-efficiency, chemical inertness, simple reaction scheme, and ability to retain water and maintain the stability of biospecimens at room temperature. The reactions involved in the Tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) gel formation were studied using Raman spectroscopy. Gels with concentrations of 0.5%, 1%, and 5% TMOS in buffer were made within plastic cuvettes to examine the storage of hemoglobin (Hb). Three trials of each TMOS concentration and corresponding controls were stored at 5°C, 25°C, and 50°C to analyze the effectiveness of different TMOS concentrations at varying temperatures. The degradation of Hb over two weeks was examined using UV-Vis spectroscopy. The 5%-sol gels stored at 25°C displayed compelling success in their ability to prevent the Hb from degrading, maintaining the initial concentration of hemoglobin for 14 days after gel preparation. These results revealed that silica sol gels containing higher concentrations of TMOS can successfully stabilize and prevent the degradation of Hb when stored at room temperature. Future research will attempt to extract hemoglobin from 5%-sol gels to establish the practicality of the gels regarding the recovery of biospecimens. Additionally, the room temperature storage of other biospecimens will be performed to examine the versatility in preventing the degradation of other types of biospecimens.
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library 1st Floor