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Journal Article


Montesano C, Vannutelli G, Massa M, Simeoni MC, Gregori A, Ripani L, Compagnone D, Curini R, Sergi M. Drug Test. Anal. 2016; 9(5): 798-807.


University of Teramo, Faculty of Bioscience and Technology for Food, Agriculture and Environment, Mosciano Sant'Angelo, TE, Italy.


(Copyright © 2016, John Wiley and Sons)






In this paper, an analytical method has been developed and validated for the analysis of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and metabolites in hair samples. The method was based on pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) followed by SPE clean-up and HPLC-HRMS analysis. To evaluate extraction efficiency and the applicability of the method, hair samples were fortified by soaking in order to obtain a good surrogate for drug users' hair; the amount of incorporated drugs related to their lipophilicity, similarly to in vivo drug incorporation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first method that allowed for the analysis of both cathinones (5) and synthetic cannabinoids (7) in hair with a single extraction procedure and chromatographic run. A phenethylamine (2C-T-4), 4- fluorophenylpiperazine and methoxetamine were also included showing that PLE coupled to SPE clean-up was suitable for a multi-class analysis of NPS in hair. In addition the use of PLE significantly reduced hair analysis time: decontamination, incubation, clean-up and LC-MS analysis are carried out in approximately 45 min. The method was fully validated according to SWGTOX and SoHT guidelines. LOQ values ranged from 8 to 50 pg mg(-1) for cathinones, phenetylamines and piperazines, and from 9 to 40 pg mg(-1) for synthetic cannabinoids (10 pg mg(-1) for methoxetamine). Matrix effects were below 15% for all the analytes, demonstrating the effectiveness of the clean-up step. Inaccuracy was lower than 9% in terms of bias.

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Language: en


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