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Types of blood collection tubes and how to choose

Issuing time:2024-05-22 15:41

Choosing blood collection tubes mainly depends on whether you want to collect serum or plasma. Serum is the product of blood that

has been allowed to clot. Plasma is the product of blood that has been prevented from clotting with an anticoagulant,while serum tubes

contain silica nanoparticles or thrombin to induce clotting. When using plasma tubes, check that the anticoagulant is compatible with

your down stream experiments.

In this short article, we explain different types of blood collection tube, including plasmatubes, serum tubes, and their key differences.

Blood Collection Tube Types

Serum vs. Plasma Tubes

The first thing to figure out is whether you want to collectserum or plasma. That depends on whether or not you need to stop the blood

from clotting.

1. Serum Tubes

There are two main types of serum collection tubes that differ in how they activate blood clotting, using different clot activators.

Silica-Based Tubes

These tubes have silica nanoparticles, which activate clotting by activating coagulation factor XII. Some also have a gel to separate the

serum.Those without the separating gel are usually more useful in sensitive diagnostic testing.

Color of the cap: Red

Clotting time: Approximately30 minutes.

Vaccum blood collection tube 11.jpg

Thrombin-Based Tubes

These tubes use thrombin to activate blood clotting. They’remainly used clinically for tests that are needed especially quickly. However, some serum components are a little less stable in these tubes.

Color of the cap: Orange.

Clotting time: Approximately 5 minutes.


2. Anticoagulant Tubes

This is the category to consider if you need cells or plasma (acell-free liquid that still contains coagulation factors).

EDTA Tubes (Purple)

Contains EDTA anticoagulant, in the routine blood test, EDTA anticoagulant compared with other anticoagulants, the coagulation of

bloodcells and the morphology of blood cells is less affected, so usually use EDTA salt (2K, 3K, 2Na) as anticoagulant. Note that

these tubes containeither K2EDTA (dipotassium) or K3EDTA (tripotassium). Beware that K3EDTA ismore hyperosmolar due to

the extra potassium ion—meaning it will concentrate blood samples more than K2EDTA via the hyperosmolar effect.

Vaccum blood collection tube (15).jpg

Sodium Citrate Tubes (Light Blue)

For coagulation and platelet function tests. Like EDTA, citrateremoves calcium from the blood by chelating it. Unlike EDTA, it’s reversible—socalcium can be added back to study coagulation under controlled conditions.Citrated plasma is also used to measure coagulation-relevant factors.

Also, note that different citrate concentrations are availablefrom different companies, so check this before you buy them.

Vaccum blood collection tube (13).jpg

Heparin Tubes (Green)

Heparin is added to the blood collection tube. Heparin has the effect of antithrombin directly, which can prolong the clotting time of the

specimen, and excessive heparin can cause the aggregation of leukocytes and cannot be used for leukocyte counting.

Vaccum blood collection tube (14).jpg

Types of Blood Collection Tubes Summarized

For more specific purposes, there are additional types of blood collection tubes out there, but hopefully, this has given you a handle on

where to start. Remember to consider whether you want plasma or serum, and pick your tube accordingly.

Note: Please remember to always wear protective equipment when working with blood, including safety goggles, gloves, and laboratory

coats, andwork carefully to avoid contact with blood and blood exposure. It’s important to consider the safety of yourself and others in

the lab.

Shanghai Teamstand Corporation is a professional manufacturer and supplier of medical disposable products. We canoffer you a wide

range product, and they are CE, ISO13485 approval, we offer you competitive products with good quality. It is easy to work with us.

Welcome to contact us for more information.


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