Online extraction system for MS and LC-MS or Sample Collector coupling

CAMAG DBS-MS 500 image

The fully automated DBS-MS 500 from CAMAG contains state-of-the-art technology to analyze target substances out of a DBS (Dried Blood Spot) on a DBS card. The DBS is directly eluted in the extraction chamber and the analytes are guided online to the analytical system of choice. Sample processing is automated, including the application of an internal standard through a high precision sprayer and a barcode assignment from the DBS card. In addition to the analytical results, a picture of each DBS card before and after extraction and the run parameters are reported to maintain full traceability and the highest quality.

Key Features

  • High-throughput analysis of up to 500 DBS cards per run
  • Integrated Optical Card Recognition and barcode reading module
  • Automated Internal Standard Application module
  • Unique extraction module with wash station to eliminate carry-over
  • Online coupling to the analytical system (MS or LC-MS)
  • Full control through Chronos software

The fully automated CAMAG DBS-MS extraction system makes DBS analysis remarkably easy and has strong advantages compared to both the manual and semi-automated punching techniques. With the CAMAG DBS-MS 500 extraction procedure, DBS analysis is an economical alternative to conventional blood sampling. It represents a time- and cost-saving technique to analyze pharmacological samples, and is less invasive for participants or animals.


The CAMAG DBS-MS 500 offers a solution for the complete laboratory analysis workflow. Through the integration of the internal standard via an automated sprayer prior to the extraction, the accuracy of the extraction process can be quantified.

1. Robotics

Highly reliable robotics handle the DBS cards from 5 separate racks, each with a capacity of 100 cards. The gripper picks up cards and moves them to all of the subsequent processes in the corresponding modules and back into their original position after the extraction. All DBS cards in the standard format of 84.67 mm x 53.2 mm can be used, independent of the brand.

2. Optical card recognition

The spot number and position, checkbox status, and barcode information are determined by a camera module with integrated firmware and adapted sensors. The connection between a DBS and its barcode is ensured throughout the whole process. CAMAG has incorporated its know-how of more than a decade of optical HPTLC image analysis to build this precise and reliable camera module.

3. Internal standard application

The extraction efficiency and quality are ensured via the application of an internal standard prior to the extraction. The internal standard solution is applied with a high precision sprayer onto the DBS. CAMAG has been manufacturing high precision application instruments for HPTLC for many years and has implemented this knowledge to build a highly reliable spraying module.

4. Extraction Module

The extraction unit seals the DBS card and the extraction solvent is pressed horizontally through the DBS into a sample loop or trapping column. The extraction volume and the extraction solvent composition can be chosen depending on the application. The extract is guided online to the analytical system and is independent of the extraction solvent cycle.

5. Wash Station

A designated wash station cleans all parts that are in contact with the DBS cards and additionally flushes the entire tubing to avoid any carry-over between samples. Carry-over is therefore not an issue, as independent user tests have confirmed.

6. Master Control Software Chronos

Chronos is a sophisticated master control software that manages your analytical system in addition to controlling the DBS-MS 500. Sample lists are programmed in Chronos, bringing sample processing, extraction, and analysis parameters together. Chronos is compatible with the majority of common MS software and allows data exchange between those programs.


The DBS-MS 500 is controlled by Chronos. Chronos additionally transfers information such as sample and barcode data directly into the MS software and triggers the analytical method.

Optimization for high throughput

Chronos’ core feature is to allow an overlap of workflows. The software measures the time for each work step in real-time and adapts the sample schedule accordingly, even while an analysis is still ongoing. This enables the DBS-MS 500 to prepare the next sample in time and therefore avoids delays due to idle time. As a result, Chronos increases the active measuring time of the devices and considerably raises the efficiency of the laboratory.

Real-time analysis monitoring

The sample schedule is visualized in a chart which can be monitored in real-time (see image slider below).

A) Transport the DBS card
B) Optical card recognition
C) Application of internal standard
D) Extraction
E) Rinsing the extraction unit
F) Estimated LC-MS cycle time

Robustness and repeatability

The user can create methods with almost no limitations on parameter options. Sample lists can be quickly generated and adapted to individual needs for the standard user. Robustness and reproducibility are thus ensured through software-controlled automation of the complete analysis.


Chronos not only controls your analytical system, but it also reports a 2D barcode, the run parameters of your analytical system and pictures of each DBS card. The 2D barcode automatically assigned to each DBS simplifies handling and avoids errors which might be caused by manual working steps. Chronos ensures traceability of every sample, thus supporting a good documentation practice.

Overlapped schedule for 10 samples and system initialization

Overlapped schedule for 10 samples and system initialization

Visualization of process steps

Visualization of process steps

Sample list editor with smart auto-fill options for fast schedule creation

Sample list editor with smart auto-fill options for fast schedule creation


Brochure DBS-MS 500
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Chronos for CAMAG
Chronos Quickguide v1.2
Instruction Manual DBS-MS 500
Declaration of Conformity DBS-MS 500
Installation Guide DBS-MS 500

Technical Specifications

Technical Data

Size: 110 × 80 × 60 cm (w × d × h); net weight 120 kg
Additional space of 10 cm for ventilation and height of 30 cm for solvent bottle placement required


Pressurized air of 4 to 8 bar

Line voltage 100 – 240 V, 50 / 60 Hz, 100 W

User interface

Touch screen display for selecting and editing methods and setting parameters

with LC-MS

Contact closure, optional Ethernet communication

Tube connections
to LC-MS

1/16” high pressure valve, 10 – 32 coned ports (UPLC valve on request)

Ordering Information



  • Fully automated DBS workstation for 500 DBS cards.
  • Including wash station, optical card recognition unit and internal standard spraying module.
  • Master slave control unit.
  • Chronos software to control the extraction and analysis.