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A Fully Automated On-line Forensic Toxicology Solution for the Determination of Opioids in Blood by Smart SPE Clean-up and GC-MS

Martin Perkins

17th May 2017


Many forensic toxicology service labs are facing increasing casework, often with reduced staff numbers. While there is significant pressure on the lab analysts to reduce case turnaround times (TATs), it is essential that the results are reproducible and reliable for consideration as evidence in a Court of Law. We were tasked with developing a robust and reproducible, fully automated on-line solution that was tested for the GC-MS determination of four forensically relevant opiates in spiked horse blood using smart SPE.  Excellent linearity, reproducibility and absolute recoveries were observed for all four target analytes using both smart SPE bed sizes, with consistent ion quantifier/qualifier ratios (majority less than 20%) across the calibration range for each analyte. The average S/N ratio of the LOQ (lowest calibrator point) were all greater than 10 with the exception of the 6-MAM. However, the % RSD value for the lowest 6-MAM calibrator was 2% well within the acceptable limits according to UKIAFT method validation guidelines.

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