13.09.2022 | Original Article
Development and validation of an ultra-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometric method for the determination of 25 psychoactive drugs in cerumen and its application to real postmortem samples
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In the present study, a method for the detection of 25 psychoactive substances in cerumen was developed and validated. This method targets opiates, cocaine, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics and antiparkinsons.
Analysis was performed on a SCIEX Triple Quad 6500+ system after liquid–liquid extraction. Methanol with 1% acetic acid was chosen as the extraction solvent. After the addition of the solvent, samples were vortexed, sonicated, centrifuged and directly injected into the liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry system.
The method was found to be selective and sensitive (limit of detection: 0.017 ng–0.33 ng/mg), the assay was linear for all analytes with linear regression coefficient ranging 0.9911–1.00. The values for intra-assay precision was between 4.34 and 14.6% and inter-assay precision between 5.81 and 17.7%, with accuracy within the acceptable criteria for all analytes. All analytes in cerumen specimens were stable for 48 h at 4 °C and 72 h at − 20 °C, whilst no significant matrix effect or carryover was observed. Applicability was proven by analyzing cerumen samples from 25 deceased with a history of drug abuse. All analytes were detected in real samples, thus confirming the sensitivity of the developed method.
According to our knowledge, it is the first time that a method for the simultaneous detection of 25 psychoactive drugs in cerumen was developed, fully validated and finally applied to 25 postmortem samples.