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Forensic Sci Int. 2008 Jul 4;178(2-3):207-12. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2008.04.005. Epub 2008 May 23.

Preparation and application of a fortified hair reference material for the determination of methamphetamine and amphetamine.

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National Institute of Scientific Investigation, 331-1 Sinwol-7-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul 158-707, South Korea.


Quality assurance is one of the major issues in forensic analytical laboratories, where the need for a reference material (RM) has rapidly increased. RMs are very useful for method development and validation, internal quality control or proficiency tests. In the present study, we prepared a RM using drug-free hair for the determination of methamphetamine (MA) and its main metabolite, amphetamine (AP) according to the recommendations of ISO Guide 35. The concentrations of MA and AP were determined using two extraction methods, agitation with 1% HCl in methanol at 38 degrees C and ultrasonication with methanol/5M HCl (20:1), followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) after derivatization with trifluoroacetic anhydride (TFAA). The assignment of values was conducted through the homogeneity study and characterization of the material. Furthermore, an internal proficiency test was performed with the prepared RM, of which the results were compared with those of the authentic hair RM prepared in our previous study. As a result, a hair RM containing MA and AP was prepared at the level of 4.86+/-0.69 ng/mg and 4.63+/-0.44 ng/mg, respectively. Most participants showed satisfactory performances in the internal proficiency test with the both RMs. The hair RM prepared in this study demonstrated its suitability for quality assurance in forensic laboratories.

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