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Tears: Potential Window for Monitoring Systemic Conditions

  • Weiwei Qin
  • Chan Zhao


Tears covering the ocular surface is an important biofluid 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. This dry method facilitates sample transportation and enables the storage of tear samples on a large scale, increasing the availability of samples for studying disease biomarkers in tears. 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. Some tissue-/organ-enriched proteins were identified in tear; thus tear might be a good window for monitoring the change of these tissues or organs.


Tear proteome Biobanking Biomarkers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiwei Qin
    • 1
  • Chan Zhao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, Qingdao Municipal HospitalQingdao UniversityQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology, Peking Union Medical College HospitalChinese Academy of Medical SciencesBeijingChina

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