Screening for illicit and medicinal drugs in whole blood using fully automated SPE and UHPLC-TOF-MS with data-independent acquisition

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A broad forensic screening method for 256 analytes in whole blood based on a fully automated SPE robotic extraction and UHPLC-TOF-MS with data-independent acquisition has been developed. The limit of identification was evaluated for all 256 compounds and 95 of these compounds were validated with regard to matrix effects, extraction recovery, and process efficiency. The limit of identification ranged from 0.001 to 0.1 mg/kg, and the process efficiency exceeded 50% for 73 of the 95 analytes. As an example of application, 1335 forensic traffic cases were analyzed with the presented screening method. Of these, 992 cases (74%) were positive for one or more traffic relevant drugs above the Danish legal limits. Commonly abused drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine, and frequent types of benzodiazepines were the major findings. Nineteen less frequently encountered drugs were detected e.g., buprenorphine, butylone, cathine, fentanyl, LSD, mCPP, MDPV, mephedrone, 4-methylamphetamine, p-fluoroamphetamine, and PMMA. In conclusion, using UHPLC-TOF-MS screening with data-independent acquisition resulted in detection of common drugs of abuse as well as new designer-drugs and more rarely occurring drugs. Thus, TOF-MS screening of blood samples constitutes a practical way for screening traffic cases, with the exception of THC, which should be handled in a separate method. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
TidsskriftJournal of Separation Science
StatusUdgivet - 22 apr. 2013

ID: 45681353