Nightingale Health

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find a fast track to some of the key questions and answers related to our biomarker analysis platform.

General

Who can order blood tests from Nightingale Health?

Nightingale currently provides analysis services for universities and research institutions, biobanks, pharmaceutical and functional food research. We have also recently obtained CE marking for our blood biomarker analysis platform. The CE mark enables the clinical use of the analysis service and the analysed measures of creatinine and glucose in the EU region.

Where can I send the samples?

Shipping to Nightingale’s laboratory can be arranged by you or a courier can be ordered by Nightingale. It is crucial that the samples are kept frozen (-80C) before the shipping and also during the entire period of transportation. Nightingale will provide the project specific shipping address and contact information after the order form has been signed.

Do you return remaining sample material?

We can return remaining sample material. However, this should be agreed when placing the order.

How can I place an order?

Nightingale currently provides analysis services for universities and research institutions, biobanks, pharmaceutical and functional food research. A quote can be requested by contacting Nightingale’s sales.

Technology

What is the methodology behind Nightingale's blood analysis?

Nightingale’s biomarker analysis is based on NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy and Nightingale’s proprietary bioinformatics software. Spectral data for over 220 metabolic is yielded with fully automated sample changing, accurate temperature control and advanced NMR spectroscopy. The obtained spectral data is quantified into absolute concentration units, e.g. mmol/L with Nightingale’s proprietary bioinformatics software with integrated quality control.

What is unique about Nightingale’s technology?

Nightingale’s biomarker analysis is optimized for high-throughput and low-cost. Whereas clinical chemistry is optimized for measuring individual biomarkers, Nightingale’s platform provides over 220 quantified biomarkers with a single experiment. Amino acids, fatty acids, glycolysis metabolites, and lipoprotein subclasses are obtained simultaneously with routine clinical lipid measures. Nightingale’s technology differs from mass spectrometry platforms both in terms of metabolite output obtained, quantified metabolites provided, as well as considerably lower costs.

What biomarkers are included in Nightingale's analysis service?

Nightingale's analysis provides over 220 metabolic biomarker measures per blood sample. Simultaneous quantification of routine lipids, amino acids, fatty acids, glycolysis metabolites, and lipoprotein subclasses is provided. The list of metabolites delivered can be found here.

How has Nightingale's technology been validated?

Nightingale’s technology has been used to analyze nearly 500 000 samples both from research and clinical trials. There are over 100 scientific articles published in biomedical journals applying the technology. Our quality management system has been certified according to EN ISO 13485 and we have obtained CE marking for our blood biomarker analysis platform. The current CE mark covers the clinical use of creatinine and glucose measures.

Sample and shipping requirements

What kind of samples are accepted?

Our platform accepts serum and EDTA/heparin/citrate plasma. It is good to note that 3 out of the 228 biomarker measures (glycine, glycerol and pyruvate) are not quantifiable for EDTA plasma samples. Accordingly, citrate biomarker is not quantifiable for citrate plasma samples.

What are the sample storage requirements?

The fresh, unfrozen samples should be delivered to Nightingale within three days from sample collection, as advised by the standard practice in clinical chemistry. If the samples are not delivered within the said time, the serum/plasma must be frozen at -20°C and, if possible, further to -80°C as soon as possible, preferably on the day of collection. Long-term storage (>1 month) of the samples must always be -80°C or colder (e.g. liquid nitrogen).

How much sample volume is required?

We have two options for sample volumes: 350ul and 100ul (micro liters). Both methods provide the same deliverables.

What is the minimum and maximum number of samples that can be analyzed?

You can send us as few samples as you want but the minimum charge is always for 94 samples. There is no maximum amount of samples.

How do I send the samples?

Shipping samples to Nightingale’s laboratory is arranged by a courier, preferably specialized in biological sample logistics. Nightingale will provide the project specific shipping address and contact information after the order has been placed.

When shipping fresh, unfrozen samples, the samples must be kept at +4°C during the shipment. When shipping frozen samples, it is crucial that the samples are kept frozen before the shipping and also during the entire period of transportation.

Delivery of results

What is the delivery time?

The delivery time depends on the number of samples. For example, the complete analysis of 3000 samples takes approximately six weeks. Delivery time is always confirmed when making the order.

Are the results easy to interpret?

The results are delivered in easy-readable reports. Since the metabolites quantified by our platform are delivered in mmol/L concentrations it’s easy to integrate with clinical chemistry measures or other metabolomic biomarkers.