Urimem, a membrane that can store urinary proteins simply and economically, makes the large-scale storage of clinical samples possible
By nature, biomarker is the measurable change associated with a physiological or pathophysiological process. Unlike blood which has mechanisms to minimize changes and to keep the internal environment homeostatic, urine is more likely to reflect changes of the body and is a better biomarker source. Because of its potential in biomarker discovery, urinary proteins should be preserved comprehensively as the duration of the patients’ corresponding medical records. Here, we propose a method to adsorb urinary proteins onto a membrane we named Urimem. This simple and inexpensive method requires minimal sample handling, uses no organic solvents, and is environmentally friendly. Urine samples were filtered through the membrane, and urinary proteins were adsorbed onto the membrane. The proteins on the membrane were dried and stored in a vacuum bag, which keeps the protein pattern faithfully preserved. The membrane may even permit storage at room temperature for weeks. Using this simple and inexpensive method, it is possible to begin preserving urine samples from all consenting people. Thus, medical research especially biomarker research can be conducted more economically. Even more objective large-scale prospective studies will be possible. This method has the potential to change the landscape of medical research and medical practice.
Keywordsurine proteins biological-sample preservation PVDF/NC membrane