Scientific article
Open access

High-throughput screening of drugs of abuse in urine by supported liquid-liquid extraction and UHPLC coupled to tandem MS

Published inChromatographia, vol. 70, p. 1373-1380
  • Open Access - Licence nationale Springer
Publication date2009

A qualitative method, involving supported liquid–liquid extraction (SLE) and ultra highpressure liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS–MS),was developed for the rapid tentative identification of various drugs of abuse in urine. In this study, 28 drugs and metabolites were covered by the screening procedure. Before analysis, urine samples were extracted by SLE and good extraction recoveries were obtained for most investigated compounds. The UHPLC strategy was then selected for the rapid separation of amphetamines, cocaine, opiates and related compounds in urine. Using columns packed with sub-2 lm particles, analysis time was reduced down to 2 min, while maintaining acceptable performance. Finally, the detection was by tandem MS operating in the single reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. The most intense transition was selected for the different drugs and SRM dwell times set at 5 ms, to maintain sufficient data points across the narrow UHPLC peaks. The tentative identification of the drugs of interest, including amphetamines, opiates and cocaine, was based on both, retention times and mass spectrometry information. With the proposed method, limits of detection were estimated at about 1 ng mL-1 and the applicability was assessed by successfully analyzing several samples of drug abusers. Finally, this study demonstrates the potential of UHPLC coupled to tandem MS for the rapid screening of drugs of abuse in urine.

  • Supported liquid–liquid extraction
  • Ultra high pressure liquid chromatography
  • Tandem mass spectrometry
  • Drugs of abuse in urine
Citation (ISO format)
MAQUILLE, Aubert et al. High-throughput screening of drugs of abuse in urine by supported liquid-liquid extraction and UHPLC coupled to tandem MS. In: Chromatographia, 2009, vol. 70, p. 1373–1380. doi: 10.1365/s10337-009-1337-z
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0009-5893

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