Orbitrap Illustration

Whole Blood Screening

Forensic screening of large numbers of drugs in body fluids is challenging due to the varying concentrations and substantially different chemical and physical properties of the drugs, interfering matrices, occasionally small volumes of sample and the presence of many similar compounds in the sample. High-resolution, accurate mass spectrometry based on Orbitrap™ technology for the first time offers an efficient and easy-to-use solution for the challenge at hand. The high resolution of up to 140,000 FWHM enables separation of drugs from interferences. Fast positive/negative switching catches acidic, basic and neutral drugs. Better than 3 ppm mass accuracy assures confidence in identification, and fragment ions from the HCD cell further confirm the identity beyond a reasonable doubt. All of this is made simple by using Thermo Scientific TraceFinder and ExactFinder software, which help attain high productivity and confidence in routine targeted and general unknown screening applications.
 
Here we describe application of the Orbitrap technology-based workflow solutions for screening in urine and whole blood matrices.

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Workflow Overview for Whole Blood Screening

 
Forensic screening of a wide range of drugs in whole blood is challenging due to the presence of many similar molecules, the matrix interference effects and the low drug concentrations relative to those in urine. For faster analysis time, very high resolution, accurate-mass measurements and fast polarity switching are necessary to identify the drugs and metabolites.
 
The workflow described here makes use of a modified, well-established whole blood extraction procedure, uHPLC and high-resolution, accurate mass spectrometry with the Thermo Scientific Exactive Plus MS. More than 300 drugs and metabolites can be identified using this solution. The workflow involves uHPLC separation coupled to the Exactive Plus™ MS operated in Full Scan MS mode at 100,000 FWHM resolution in alternating positive/negative polarity and HCD fragmentation. The MS and fragmentation data acquired in Full Scan mode is processed by Thermo Scientific ExactFinder software. The software supports both targeted and unknown screening. It does a very thorough interrogation of the data by making use of the built-in database and mass spectral library of over 1400 compounds, retention times, isotope pattern matching, elemental composition determinations and ChemSpider searches to identify and confirm drugs and metabolites in the sample.







resources


Screening of 300 Drugs in Blood Utilizing Second Generation Exactive Plus High-Resolution, Accurate Mass Spectrometer and ExactFinder Software

Van Natta K, Kozak M, He X.
ASMS 2012 Poster
 

Screening of 300 Drugs in Blood Utilizing Second Generation Exactive Plus High-Resolution, Accurate Mass Spectrometer and ExactFinder Software

Van Natta K, Kozak M, He X.
Slide Presentation
 

Evaluation of high-resolution mass spectrometry for urine toxicology screening in a pain management setting

Crews BO, Pesce AJ, et al.
J Anal Toxicol. 2012 Nov;36(9):601-7.