Tear sample collection using cellulose acetate absorbent filters

Marieh Esmaeelpour, Jun Cai, Patrick Watts, Mike Boulton, Paul J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the use of cellulose acetate filter rods as a technique for tear collection. Method: The cellulose acetate rod (CR) was compared with the 'standard' glass capillary tube (CT), in a series of experiments, to assess: sample collection by collected volume size; the effect of tear stimulation on total tear protein concentration and major tear protein concentrations; and technique invasiveness. Results: No difference was found in concentrations for total protein, IgA (secretory immunoglobulin A), lactoferrin and lysozyme (p > 0.05) with no clinically significant increase in serum albumin to show serum leakage. Sample volume was higher for CR (p < 0.005) and sample volume increased for stimulated collection with CR (p = 0.001). Dilution effect of a stimulated sample size was reliably shown only with CR (r = -0.66, p = 0.011). Using bovine albumin standard with CR and CT, a smaller sample volume (p < 0.001) and a higher protein concentration (p < 0.001) were extracted with CR. Conclusion: The cellulose rod offers a suitable alternative to the glass CT. It is able to quickly absorb a sample, allowing use for a wide range of sample sizes, while being minimally invasive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008


  • Cellulose rod
  • Glass capillary
  • Tear collection
  • Tear proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry
  • Sensory Systems

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