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Warning Message New York is unable to fulfill requests at this time. The VRDBS is compliant with regulations mandated by H.R. 1281.

How to Use This Site

Accessing Dried Blood Spots for Research

The Virtual Repository of Dried Blood Spots (VRDBS) was developed by the Newborn Screening Translational Research Network (NBSTRN) to provide access to residual dried blood spots (DBS) for research purposes. Only approved investigators with genuine research interests will be approved for participation in the VRDBS. Investigators are required to upload their CV/Biosketch, research proposal, funding, and IRB approval information in order to complete the request process.

Learn about the process for investigators at the beginning stages of the grant approval process.

How to Receive DBS Specimens, Step-by-Step

1. Register for an Account

  • Upload CV and other account details,
    provide institutional signing official
  • NBSTRN Reviews

Register for an Account. Once a user account is approved, you can search for DBS stored for research. The user account allows for an Investigator or his/her staff to search for DBS, add them to their selections, submit requests, and view the status of their requests.

2. Search for Dried Blood Spots (DBS)

  • You can search for condition-specific or general population DBS
  • VRDBS displays information about stored DBS by participating states

Click Search or General Population Search in the top navigation menu and select search parameters to search for DBS. If you do not select any search parameters, the system you will show you the aggregate numbers for all of the DBS in the system.

3. Submit a Request for DBS

  • Upload research proposal, funding, and IRB approval information
  • VRDBS automatically notifies state(s) that a request has been made

Once you locate the dried blood spot(s) of interest, simply click on Add to My Selections. Select Request DBS Specimen(s). Enter study information including research proposal, funding and IRB approval information, and submit your request. See message with request ID number, saying that your request has been successfully submitted.

4. Receive notification of state approval or denial

  • State reviews and approves or denies request for DBS
  • May take weeks or months for review, depending on the state

To see a list of all requests you have submitted in the system click on My Requests at the top of the page. Click on a request to view status and details. States will review and approve (or deny) requests made, and may ask for additional information or IRB approval. This process may take several weeks or months.

5. Receive DBS and conduct your research

  • State ships your approved DBS
  • Transfer of DBS and recovery fees will be negotiated between state and investigator

States will contact you regarding the transfer of recovery fees and shipping of DBS.

6. Return remaining DBS to state (if required)

  • Leave feedback on DBS quality
  • State determines if DBS must be returned

After you've received your DBS specimens, log back into the Virtual Repository and leave feedback on the quality of specimens. This lets the state(s) know that you've received your shipment and also assists in determining appropriate shipping vendors and methods. Once your research is completed, you may be required to return any remaining specimens to the state of origin. Each state's return policy is listed in the State Profile.

Process For Early Stage Investigators

For investigators at the beginning stages of the grant approval process who are interested in determining the availability of specimens for proposed research, you may:

  • Register for an account (Step 1)
  • Search for DBS (Step 2)
  • Save your search until your grant/funding has been approved.

There is no guarantee that the DBS will still be available at the time of actual request, but the saved search will give you appropriate information for the grant proposal process. If you would like a letter of support from the NBSTRN for your proposed research, please visit the Request a Letter of Support page.

Important Notes

All NBSTRN-facilitated research should acknowledge that the NBSTRN is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (contract #HHSN275200800001C).

It's important to have NBSTRN-facilitated research reach as broad an audience as possible. We request that investigators submit an abstract of published research findings for inclusion on our website.

Click here to register now »