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Development of “Quick-DB forensic”: A total workflow from QuEChERS-dSPE method to GC–MS/MS quantification of forensically relevant drugs and pesticides in whole blood

Kusano, Maiko, Sakamoto, Yuki, Natori, Yujin, Miyagawa, Haruhiko, Tsuchihashi, Hitoshi, Ishii, Akira, Zaitsu, Kei
Forensic science international 2019 v.300 pp. 125-135
antidepressants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, blood, chemical species, computer software, detection limit, forensic sciences, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, humans, illicit drugs, pesticides, phenethylamines, quantitative analysis, solid phase extraction, tandem mass spectrometry, toxicity testing
Trends in forensic toxicology show the advancement of rapid and sensitive analytical methods for qualitative and quantitative analysis of drugs of abuse. However, forensic toxicologists are continuously faced with the challenges of identifying and quantifying drug blood concentration while simultaneously struggling with manpower shortage. In view of developing a simple and productive toxicological analysis method encompassing total workflow from sample preparation to quantitative analysis, here we describe a simple, robust, and sensitive method for the simultaneous determination and quantification of 63 forensically relevant drugs and pesticides in human whole blood. The method is based on sample preparation by a modified QuEChERS extraction and dispersive solid-phase extraction (dSPE) clean-up followed by gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (GC–MS/MS) analysis. Limits of detection of the target analytes in whole blood ranged in the few ng/mL-order levels. Intra- and inter-day validation result ranges were 0–24% for accuracy (% error) and 0.8–26% for precision (%RSD). Recovery rates ranged from 66% to 84% for barbiturates, 36% to 110% for benzodiazepines, 41% to 86% for tri/tetracyclic antidepressants, 15% to 81% for drugs of abuse, 28% to 44% for phenethylamines, and 25% to 118% for pesticides. The validated results were used to develop a user-friendly, systematic, and quantitative toxicological GC/MS/MS system and software “Quick-DB Forensic”.