Orbitrap Illustration

Urine Drug 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.

For additional resources, search the Orbitrap Science Library

Workflow Overview for Urine Screening

Forensic screening of a wide range of drugs in urine is challenging due to the presence of many similar molecules in the sample, the matrix interference, and the significant sample-to-sample differences due to the varying nature of the matrix. 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 supports simple dilute-and-shoot methodology, solid-phase extraction (SPE), liquid-liquid extraction (LLE), and online sample extraction using Thermo Scientific TurboFlow technology for more than 300 drugs and metabolites. It uses simple full-scan MS at 100,000 FWHM resolution in alternating positive/negative polarity and HCD fragmentation. The MS and fragmentation data acquired in full scan is processed by Thermo Scientific TraceFinder or 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.

Literature Highlights

Evaluation of Ultra High Resolution Mass Spectrometer in Targeted Forensic Screening Method for Urine Analysis in Comparison to Immunoassay and GC-MS Techniques

Kozak M, Durez B, Lee M, Wang E, Stefan C.
Scientific Poster

Toxicological Screening of 80 Drugs in Urine Using the High Resolution Exactive LC/MS Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer Coupled to Online Extraction and Turbulent Flow Chromatography

Shokati T.
Slide Presentation

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

Screening and quantitation of drugs in oral fluids using Q Exactive system

Kozak M.
Slide Presentation

Quantitative LC-MS Screening for Illicit Drugs Using Ultrahigh Resolution Mass Analysis and Accurate Mass Confirmation

McHale K, Sanders M.
Application Note 499

Quantitative Screening of 46 Illicit Drugs in Urine using Exactive Ultrahigh Resolution and Accurate Mass system

McHale K.
Slide Presentation