Urine specimens provide useful insight into the clinical research process and can be applied in place of or in addition to blood samples or other biospecimens

By utilizing urine specimens as part of a research study, researchers and healthcare providers are able to gain valuable insight into conditions like kidney disease, kidney stones, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions. 

With urine samples, researchers can collect useful data such as a patient’s urine creatinine and urea to evaluate renal function, as well as the concentrations of drugs in the body to determine pharmacokinetic parameters. 

Testing for glucose levels and proteinuria can also be done with urine samples to assess the presence or absence of certain metabolic conditions. 

In addition, research studies often employ urine samples to detect environmental toxins that may be present in a population and to monitor the effects of a particular drug or treatment.

Testing methods such as the dipstick test can also detect HCG pregnancy hormones, bilirubin, white blood cells, acidity, and red blood cells. Other urine tests include urine cultures, visual tests, and microscopic tests.

Collecting a urine sample for clinical research is a safe and straightforward process. It is important to properly label and store the sample in order to ensure the integrity of the specimen.

 A urine specimen collection kit will typically include a sterile urine collection container and disposable plastic gloves. Research participants should wash their hands prior to collecting the sample and should hold the specimen container close to their body in order to avoid spills. 

Participants should clean the genital area, including the labia or head of the penis, retracting the foreskin if necessary, to ensure clean catch samples. 

If a clean catch sample is hard to obtain for any reason, researchers may use a catheter to obtain urine samples directly from the urethra.

To ensure the best quality specimen, participants should use only midstream urine (excluding the initial and final flow of urine), make every effort to maintain the sterility of the urine container, and place the sample in a plastic bag for safekeeping.

Some diagnostic urine tests, such as pregnancy tests, require first morning specimens. Others, such as UTI tests, require normal testing. Still others require 24-hour urine collection, which is when urine is periodically collected over a 24-hour period.

When they fit the requirements for a research study, urine specimens have numerous advantages to other sampling methods because they are non-invasive, can be collected easily, and can provide stable biomarker information useful for longitudinal studies

In addition to logistical advantages, sampling urine is cost-effective as it does not require complicated lab equipment or extensive training. 

Although urine samples have many potential advantages for clinical research studies, there are also some drawbacks to consider. 

For instance, urine samples may not always be reflective of the true nature of a patient’s health information, as they can be limited in scope by not being as detailed or comprehensive as a blood sample. 

For example, information about a patient’s organ function aside from the kidneys is difficult or impossible to interpret from a urine sample. Furthermore, urine samples can also be highly variable and difficult to store or transport.

For research studies that require larger numbers of urine samples, biorepositories and biobanks are a useful source of research materials. These large collections of different kinds of samples have been acquired over a period and typically used for research purposes. 

In order to obtain a large enough sample size, biorepositories can provide a variety of urine specimens that are often well-preserved, diverse, and provide good-quality data. 

At iProcess Global Research, you can expect to work with an experienced, global supplier of biospecimens that has shipped over 100,000 biospecimens from over 1,000 sites. By working with iProcess, you will have access to an international source of urine samples to meet even the most demanding research needs. 

Contacting iProcess is easy. Request a free quote today. 


Urinalysis – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf | PMC 

Best methods for urine sample collection for diagnostic accuracy in women with urinary tract infection symptoms: a systematic review | PMC

Sample Processing and Stability for Urine Biomarker Studies | PMC