Application of solid-phase micro-extraction technology to drug screening and identification

M. H. Mosaddegh, T. Richardson, R. W. Stoddart, J. McClure

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants and local anaesthetics are frequently involved in poisoning episodes and fatalities. A specific, sensitive and rapid procedure for identifying and quantifying such drugs in postmortem matrices has been developed using solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Very clean extracts were obtained in one step using SPME. The most commonly used fibre coatings were tested to select the best coating for SPME of the drugs. The appropriate fibre coating for most drugs was polyacrylate, followed by Carbowax-divinylbenzene. A Hewlett-Packard 5890 gas chromatograph in combination with a Trio 2000 mass spectrometer was used to analyse the samples. Temperature, time, pH and addition of sodium chloride were optimized to obtain consistent extraction. The between-day and within-day coefficients of variation were less than 16% and less than 6%, respectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)541-547
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnnals of Clinical Biochemistry
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Adsorption
    • methods: Autopsy
    • methods: Blood Chemical Analysis
    • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
    • methods: Chromatography, Liquid
    • methods: Forensic Medicine
    • Humans
    • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
    • Linear Models
    • methods: Mass Fragmentography
    • analysis: Pharmaceutical Preparations
    • analysis: Poisons
    • Postmortem Changes
    • Reproducibility of Results
    • Sensitivity and Specificity
    • pharmacology: Sodium Chloride
    • methods: Substance Abuse Detection
    • Temperature
    • methods: Urinalysis


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