Tears covering the ocular surface is an important bio-fluid containing thousands of molecules, including proteins, lipids, metabolites, nucleic acids, and electrolytes. Tears are valuable resources for biomarker research of ocular and even systemic diseases. For application in biomarker studies, tear samples should ideally be stored using a simple, low-cost, and efficient method along with the patient's medical records. For this purpose, we developed a novel Schirmer's strip-based dry method that allows for storage of tear samples in vacuum bags at room temperature. Using this method, tear protein patterns can also be preserved. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry analysis of proteins recovered from the dry method and traditional wet method showed no significant difference. This dry method facilitates sample transportation and enables the storage of tear samples on a large scale, increasing the availability of samples for studying biomarker of diseases in tears.
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