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J Chromatogr B Biomed Sci Appl. 2000 Aug 18;745(2):399-411.

High-temperature solid-phase microextraction procedure for the detection of drugs by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Clinical Chemistry, Medical University, Hannover, Germany.


High-temperature headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME) with simultaneous ("in situ") derivatisation (acetylation or silylation) is a new sample preparation technique for the screening of illicit drugs in urine and for the confirmation analysis in serum by GC-MS. After extraction of urine with a small portion of an organic solvent mixture (e.g., 2 ml of hexane-ethyl acetate) at pH 9, the organic layer is separated and evaporated to dryness in a small headspace vial. A SPME-fiber (e.g., polyacrylate) doped with acetic anhydride-pyridine (for acetylation) is exposed to the vapour phase for 10 min at 200 degrees C in a blockheater. The SPME fiber is then injected into the GC-MS for thermal desorption and analysis. After addition of perchloric acid and extraction with n-hexane to remove lipids, the serum can be analysed after adjusting to pH 9 as described for urine. Very clean extracts are obtained. The various drugs investigated could be detected and identified in urine by the total ion current technique at the following concentrations: amphetamines (200 microg/l), barbiturates (500 microg/l), benzodiazepines (100 microg/l), benzoylecgonine (150 microg/l), methadone (100 microg/l) and opiates (200 microg/l). In serum all drugs could be detected by the selected ion monitoring technique within their therapeutic range. As compared to liquid-liquid extraction only small amounts of organic solvent are needed and larger amounts of the pertinent analytes could be transferred to the GC column. In contrast to solid-phase extraction (SPE), the SPME-fiber is reusable several times (as there is no contamination by endogenous compounds). The method is time-saving and can be mechanised by the use of a dedicated autosampler.

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