Blood Assays


Blood assays support and speed up the decision-making process. By using blood assays, you can confirm your in vitro data before starting expensive in vivo/ex vivo assays or considering the use of sophisticated and expensive models (e.g. human stem cells).

Whole blood assays are highly relevant in a variety of fields (see the description tab for more information):

  • Bioactivity testing
  • Modulation of inflammation and immunotoxicity
  • Cytokine storm and cytokine release syndrome
  • Immunogenicity
  • Cross-species reactivity and toxicology studies
  • Vaccine development
  • Pyrogen detection
  • Inocuity testing of cell culture plasticware and/or reagents
  • Allergenicity


We obtain blood from qualified healthy adult donors who gave their inform consent for research.

Our blood assay service is offering:

  • Sourcing of fresh blood from healthy donors, or patients with specific diseases, with information for age, gender and blood  
  • Sourcing of animal blood, including different primate species
  • Tests up to 10 donors simultaneously (depending on assay design)
  • Repeated assays on a regular basis (e.g. to support quality control)
  • Storage of supernatants from your assays (-20°C or -80°C)
  • Multiplex readouts


Assay Unit size Order
Single readout

1 x 96 well plate

1-3 donors

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Multiple readout

n x 96 well plate

> 1-3 donors

Ask for a quote
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Short turnaround time - xxxxxxxxxxxx

Screening flexibility - Screening parameters can be selected and/or modified based on customer requirements.

Cost effective - xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Reliable - Our screening service has been utilized consistently by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Bioactivity testing

You’ll be interested by these tests if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You have an in vitro assay in place using blood from a limited number of donors, our access to multiple donors allows you to strengthen your results and/or to detect individual biases.
  • You have designed an in vitro assay with PBMC or even monocytic cell lines (e.g. U937, THP1), our whole blood assays allow you to extent the validity of your data in complete blood and to anticipate serum interferences.
  • You develop a bioequivalent of a product known to be active in whole blood assays. Blood Assay Solutions can perform side by side tests to support the functional validation of your product.
  • You want to assess the bioactivity of a product following various storage conditions.
  • You want to perform batch to batch comparison of your research reagents.


Modulation of inflammation and immunotoxicity

Upon incubation with fresh whole blood, proinflammatory and immunostimulating compounds induce the release of specific cytokines. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive compounds prevent the release of cytokines consecutive to the stimulation of blood. Whether you want to assess the immunotoxic potential of your compounds or their capacity to modulate the immune response, Blood Assay Solutions can help you to design assays to fully characterize your products.


Cytokine storm and cytokine release syndrome

In vitro assays using fresh blood have been shown to be a valuable tool to evaluate the risk of cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome. This type of assay is especially relevant for therapeutic antibodies targeting the immune system. Blood Assay Solutions can develop this type of assay for your products.



The capacity of a product to induce a specific immune response can be assessed in whole blood assays by measuring the release of interferon gamma (IFNγ) or interleukin-2 (IL2) produced by T cells.


Cross-species reactivity and toxicology studies

Running whole blood assays with animal blood, especially non human primate blood, can help you to select the right specie(s) for your toxicology studies i.e. specie(s) in which your drug shows an activity similar to the activity measured in human blood.


Vaccine development: adjuvant, specific immune response

Adjuvants are sensed by innate immune receptors (e.g. Toll-like receptors (TLR), NOD-like receptors NLR)). In whole blood assays, adjuvants induce a rapid release of proinflammatory cytokines reflecting their potency. In vaccinated subjects, the incubation of whole blood with specific antigens results in the release of cytokines (IFNγ, IL2) reflecting the extent of immunization.


Pyrogen detection - Monocyte activation test

According to the European Pharmacopoeia, endotoxins e.g. lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and other pyrogens can be detected using whole blood assays (MAT: monocyte activation test). This alternative to the rabbit pyrogen test, is useful to validate decontamination procedures during biologics or cosmetics manufacturing for example.


Cell culture plasticware and reagents

If you are a manufacturer of cell culture plasticware and/or reagents, providing data about the bioactivity or the innocuity of your products assessed with whole blood assays is a plus. Your customers working with blood will save the time needed to find the right dose to use for their experiments. Moreover, you’ll document the suitability of your products (e.g. absence of pyrogens) for in vitro experiments using primary tissues, including blood.



In allergic individuals, the incubation of whole blood with allergens induces the release of histamine and/or inflammatory cytokines. This assay can be used to predict the allergenicity of a compound in normal population or to test different formulations of a product aimed at reducing its allergenicity in a given population.

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Below are examples of blood assays, including design, plate layout and typical results.


1. IC50 comparison on multiple donors

Compound A has been found to inhibit LPS-induced TNF release. IC50 will be measured in whole blood assays to assess donor to donor variation.

Assay design: fresh whole blood from 8 different donors is preincubated with increasing concentrations of compound A and treated or not with LPS. After 4h incubation, TNF is measured in the supernatants.

xxxxx insert figures

Conclusion: compound A inhibits LPS-induced TNF production in all the donors tested. IC50 ranges from 1.5 to 10µM.


2. Detection of contaminants

The purification of compound B comprises several decontamination steps to remove contaminants of bacterial origin. A whole blood assay is used to validate the removal of contaminants after each purification step.

Assay design: whole blood from 2 donors is incubated with serial dilutions of compound B sampled after each purification step. After 4h, IL6 is measured in the supernatants.

xxxx insert figures

Conclusion: The final product is free of contaminants.


3. Comparison of different adjuvant formulations

A vaccine company wishes to evaluate different formulations of an adjuvant.

Assay design: fresh whole blood from 3 different donors is incubated 4-6h with serial dilutions of each formulation. The release of pro-inflammatory cytokine(s) (e.g. IL1, IL6, TNF) is then measured.

xxxx insert figures

Formulation #1 doesn’t induce a response in any of the donors.
Formulation #3 is as efficient as the positive control.
Formulation #4 is less efficient than formulation #3.
Interestingly, formulation #2 works in donor A and C but not with donor B reflecting donor to donor variations specific to this formulation.

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  • Application note on whole blood assays

Download the application note written with Cisbio.


  • Assessment of neutrophil activity

A simple whole blood assay shown to be as informative as invasive experimental techniques. PLoS ONE article


  • New publication co-authored by Blood Assay Solutions

« Toll-Like Receptors: Ligands, Cell-Based Models, and Readouts for Receptor Action » Abstract

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