Every month, the Partnership for Clean Competition posts Research in Review, which highlights anti-doping publications from the previous month. The included articles may or may not stem from PCC-funded research. In Research Insights, we choose a few research papers and allow their authors to expand upon them. Highlighting this research should not be read as an endorsement of findings, but rather, an attempt to promote a holistic understanding of anti-doping science.

Dr. Alexandre Marchand and his team from Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD) published findings in Drug Testing and Analysis entitled, An optimized SDS-PAGE protocol with a new blotting system for the initial testing procedure of ESAs in doping control.

The authors explain in the paper’s abstract:

In addition to IEF-PAGE, the SDS-PAGE method has been used to differentiate endogenous EPO from rEPOs by their molecular weight (MW). However, to adapt to new generations of rEPOs exhibiting higher MW, which were not well detected after SDS-PAGE, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (SAR) is now used instead of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) for the initial EPO testing procedure on doping control samples. The SAR-PAGE method is nevertheless expensive as it requires frequent buffer preparations using highly purified sarkosyl powder. In addition, this reagent needs to be handled with care due to acute toxicity by inhalation. The aim of this work was to improve the SDS-PAGE method by increasing its sensitivity and transfer of high-MW rEPOs.

You can read the full abstract of the paper here.

Dr. Marchand further elaborates on their findings in our Research Insights video.