A modified procedure based on a vacuum-driven blotting system for the detection of erythropoietin and its analogs

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Background: The intake of erythropoietins as performance-enhancing drugs is banned in sport. The current method for their detection is based on advanced electrophoretic techniques (IEF-PAGE and SDS-PAGE/sarcosyl-PAGE) with double-blotting and chemiluminescence detection, requiring at least 2.5 days to be completed. Methodology & Results: The proposed procedure, based on vacuum-driven blotting technology, drastically reduces the time necessary to complete the analysis, while still fulfilling the criteria of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Validation was carried out on urine samples spiked with different recombinant erythropoietins, as well as on urine samples obtained following controlled excretion studies and on anonymized urine samples from antidoping tests. Conclusion: The proposed approach, allowing a faster turnaround time, could be very advantageous on the occasion of major sport international events (i.e., Olympic Games).

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