In 2008, James Rudge, PhD, got the idea to invent a medical device for specimen collection that would be an advance on the dried blood spot (DBS) filter cards already on the market. James knew from his own experience in the lab that DBS cards worked well for collecting microsamples of blood or other bio-fluid as a dried matrix for analysis in research studies. The DBS cards also were easy to transport, which was a boon for scientists and medical professionals. However, DBS cards presented technical difficulties around inconsistent sample volume and viability that impacted lab workflow and accuracy of the data. Scientists working in labs were frustrated and needed a microsampling solution.
James wanted to design a new specimen collection device that would overcome the limitations of DBS and, possibly, improve upon its advantages. He created a prototype for a volumetric absorptive microsampling device that could more consistently collect a precise volume of blood or other bio-fluid, and could also streamline sample processing and analysis in the lab.
He took this idea and prototype to his colleague, Senior Scientist Stuart Kushon, PhD, at Phenomenex, a chromatography and technical services company based in Torrance, California. Stuart immediately recognized the potential of translating volumetric absorptive microsampling into a device that could deliver viable samples safely and with greater accuracy for analysis.
Stuart and James collaborated on incubating this volumetric absorptive technology with their team at Phenomenex from 2010-2015, with Stuart leading the research and development of the technology. They worked closely with several leading global pharmaceutical companies to ensure the device met industry and regulatory standards for commercialization as a new tool for specimen collection and microsampling. In 2015, their co-invention was branded as the Mitra® device with VAMS® technology, and it was launched as the flagship product of a spin-out company, Neoteryx.
Today, Neoteryx and the Mitra® device with VAMS® are part of the Trajan Scientific and Medical family, working within the company's Microsampling Business Unit. James, Stuart and a combined team of microsampling specialists work closely with hemaPEN® inventor Florian Lapierre and others in their unit to continue evolving and advancing microsampling technologies. They work toward a shared goal of providing scientists and others working in laboratories with advanced microsampling technologies that improve sample collection and processing across the biological, environmental, and food & beverage industries.