Clinical Microsampling Group

The Clinical Microsampling Group (CMG) aims to replace traditional, highly invasive blood-taking techniques with an innovative microsampling approach that enables measuring drug concentrations in a drop of blood.

From left to right: Professor Jason Roberts, Dr Suzanne Parker, Yarmarly Guerra Valero, Dr Tavey Dorofaeff and Dr Steven Wallis

Studies which characterise drug concentrations in children are lacking and, consequently, clinicians do not know which doses should be used in these patients. In part, the lack of pharmacokinetic studies is due to the onerous blood sampling required: frequent sampling (5-8 times) of up to 5mL per sample. However, there are psychological and physiological burdens and risks associated with taking blood from babies, infants and children. Blood sampling is highly concerning to these vulnerable patients and their parents; it is frequently a factor of discussion for research ethics committees when considering whether a research project is acceptable. Recent advances in the sensitivity of the instruments that measure drugs now provide the opportunity to reduce blood sampling volumes.

The research undertaken by the CMG for a new approach to sampling can be applied to strategic PK studies to establish evidence-based, effective drug dosing regimens. For the babies, infants and children treated with our novel dosing regimens, they will have an easier fight and a better chance at getting home, where they belong.

This research is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the staff at Queensland Children's Hospital (QCH) and BTCCRC.

Leading this team are the Chief Investigators: Dr Tavey Dorofaeff, Paediatric Intensivist, QCH and Dr Suzanne Parker, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the BTCCRC. Investigators are Prof Jason Roberts, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy, BTCCRC and Prof Jeffrey Lipman, Professor of Medicine, BTCCRC.

The group is very grateful to Ian Potter Foundation who funded our microsampling robotic tool.

For further details see Pharmacokinetics of antimicrobials in critically ill paediatric patients.

Project members

Dr Suzanne Parker

NHMRC Early Career Fellow
UQ Centre for Clinical Research

Dr Steven Wallis

Head of Bioanalysis
UQ Centre for Clinical Research

Ms Michele Cree

PhD Candidate
UQ Centre for Clinical Research