Fitzco Release ECS - Perfect for Dried Blood Spot Samples & Analysis

Fitzco have long been respected for developing innovative sample collection devices including the acclaimed FTA paper which they co-founded in the 90's. The new ECS range offers brand new technology perfect for blood and buccal collection.
By: Fitzco
Jan. 11, 2012 - PRLog -- The ECS range has been developed over a number of years to offer a perfect solution for DBS sample collection and storage.

ECS™ Technologies

The Ensemble Collection System™ is a group of sciences revolving around the collection of different components at varying conditions of a cell, where one technology might work better then another based on each situation.  In a sense each technology can be used utilising its own strengths, but together they all work in  harmony doing different applications.

Fitzco 705™

705™ is a pure paper foundation with no chemical additives.  It is made from a high-purity cotton linter pulp that is perfect for biological sample collection.  705™ is a proven product for long term nucleic acid preservation in both ambient and frozen storage.  Nucleic acids are trapped, but not bound to paper.  It has a limited protein application.  These features make it an ideal foundation for other ECS™ platforms. Fitzco has manufactured specimen collection cards using this grade of paper for nucleic acid & screening applications since 1991.  The Fitzco 705™ is a cost effective sample collection paper with over 20 years proven standard.

Fitzco PRO™

PRO™ is a chemical-based matrix that targets the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures of proteins.  PRO™ was formulated to engulf the proteins and stop them from fracturing or degrading as cells lyse. PRO™ collects, protects, and suspends proteins in a dried format that is amenable for ambient storage.

The chemistry for protein protection eases the ability to work with nucleic acids.  In nucleic acids applications, PRO™ has been validated for use with a simple extraction protocol on both blood and Buccal samples. It has also been shown to be conducive for direct amplification of  buccal samples.  The Fitzco PRO™ features include Multiple Protein Structures, Easy Nucleic Acid Extraction, Direct Amplification, no preparation required for buccal, available in Indicating format.

Fitzco ProPRIME™

ProPRIME™ is a chemical-based matrix that targets the primary & secondary protein structures.  As with the PRO™, ProPRIME™ suspends the primary structures, protecting it from denaturing and degrading.

Again, the chemistry for protein protection eases the ability to work with nucleic acids.  In nucleic acids applications, ProPRIME™ has been validated for simple extraction.  It has been shown to be perfect for Direct Amplification for both blood and buccal samples.

ProPRIME™ renders proteins that make harmful pathogens inactive while preserving the structures for downstream analysis.  The ProPRIME™ benefits include Primary Protein Structures, Inactivates proteins for downstream analysis, Direct Amplification, no preparation required for buccal or blood samples, inactivates harmful pathogens.

Fitzco ECS Indicating™

The Fitzco ECS Indicating™ is designed to show a cellular zone, where collected cells are located. After a clear (i.e. buccal) sample is collected, the sample stain will start the process of definition between the sample area and non sample area.  After the separation process, three distinct areas of the sample are shown: a line of sample separation/delineation (Dark Blue), a neutral area (yellow) and the Indicating Zone™ (freckled blue/green) showing where the highest concentration of cells are located.  Features of the Fitzco ECS Indicating™ include Easily identifiable Cell Zone™, no  interference with the chemistries, significant reduction in the number of non sample punches.

How ECS Works

Cell Lysis - Proteins & Nucliec Acids

Cell lysis is the disruption of a cell wall to release the biological components of the cell. This product, called lysate, includes nucleic acids, proteins, organelles, lipids, etc. Once a cell has lysed it has died. Cell lysis usually occurs naturally, in most cases through the drying process, but can also happen chemically or  physically.  As cells lyse, the protein denatures or degrades and becomes essentially useless.  Nucleic acids will unravel and become trapped  if on a suitable matrix.

Proteins - PRO™, ProPRIME™ & 705™

Fitzco’s Protein Cards, the PRO™ & ProPRIME™, utilize a gentle cell lysis upon contact unlike existing paper matrix products, which use harsh extraction techniques and methods. Our product solves the problem of protein denaturation during cell lysis. Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary protein structures are preserved with PRO™; primary and secondary protein structures are preserved with ProPRIME™. While proteins are the target, other cellular components (i.e. nucleic acids) also become trapped and preserved in the treated paper foundation. Other commercially available products that instantly lyse cells are harsh and do not provide a suitable environment for the protein, causing their structures to denature.  Fitzco’s PRO™ & ProPRIME™ are the only cards available on the market today that protect protein structures.

705™ has been used in protein functionality testing and short term storage, but is only viable for recently collected samples.  It is not recommended for use in the long term storage of proteins.

Nucleic Acid - Fitzco Cards

As cell lysis occurs and the biological components are released, the cell fractures and its components are releasing its components, entrapping the cellular contents within the Fitzco matrixes.  The nucleic acids unravels and is trapped within the matrix of the Fitzco Paper 705, Specimen Grade Cotton (FP705).

The method of the collecting DNA from the cellulose based matrix is identified by Dr. Friedrich Miescher dating back to 1869 in isolating nucleins (now known as DNA) from bandages.  This was perfected in 1963 by Dr. Robert Gutherie for Neonatal Cards. Introduced by Fitzco as a commercially accepted medium for DNA cards in 1991.

All Fitzco ECS™ Cards follow the same DNA extraction procedures. The PRO™ (buccal) and ProPRIME™ (all samples) are able to go direct amp without prep.
Pathogens - Fitzco Cards

The aspect of collecting and studying pathogens is viable on all of the Fitzco ECS™ products.

705™ - Samples must be fresh or frozen.  As a sample dries it will slowly denature the protein and destroy the pathogens with the possibility that some might remain active while trapped in the   matrix.

PRO™ - Preserves the pathogens with the proteins.

ProPRIME™  - Instantly inactivates the proteins that could cause the pathogen to be dangerous, but also maintains the protein structure allowing it to be analyzed.

Other commercially available products that instantly lyse cells denature protein structures and kill the pathogens, but do not offer the ability to fully analyze their structures.

ECS™ Card Formats

TWYN Card  - The TWYN card is also a two circle card that collects up to 250 µL of specimen or 50 µL of plant homogenate.

Micro Card  - The Micro Card is a one circle card that collects up to 125 µL of specimen or 25 µL of plant homogenate.  

Sampact Card - The Sampact card format uses a heavy card stock which is perfect for buccal sample collection

Classic Card - The Classic Card is a four circle card that collects up to 500 µL of specimen or 100 µL of plant homogenate per card.

Gene Card - The Gene Card is a three circle cassette style card that collects up to 225 µL of specimen or 30 µL of plant homogenate.  

Mini Card - The Mini Card has two circles that will collect up to 250 µL of specimen sample or 50 µL of plant homogenate per card.

For more information on all of our products please visit or if you are outside of the Americas.

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Since 1989, Fitzco have developed and manufactured sample collection products supplying organisations all over the world. Fitzco are the original co-founder of the FTA cards and Omni Swab. Our products serve the requirements of forensic and diagnostic fields the world over.
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