Simultaneous detection of seventeen drugs of abuse and metabolites in hair using solid phase micro extraction (SPME) with GC/MS

Katarina Aleksa, Paula Walasek, Netta Fulga, Bhushan Kapur, Joey Gareri, Gideon Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Introduction: The analysis of pediatric and adult hair is a useful non-invasive biomarker to effectively detect long term exposure to various xenobiotics, specifically drugs of abuse such as cocaine, opiates and amphetamines. Very often individuals are using, or are exposed to multiple drugs simultaneously and therefore it is important to be able to detect them in the same analysis. We have developed a sensitive and specific solid phase micro extraction (SPME) coupled with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to detect 17 different analytes in hair using a single extraction method. Method: Five milligrams of hair is extracted overnight, subjected to solid phase extraction (SPE) and then to SPME-GC/MS. The aimed analytes include amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDA, MDMA, cocaine, benzoylecognine, norcocaine, cocaethylene, methadone, codeine, morphine, 6-AM, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and meperidone. Results: The following are the LOD of the various drugs: 0.2. ng/mg hair for amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDA, MDMA, morphine, codeine, 6-AM, oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, meperidine and 0.13. ng/mg hair for cocaine, benzoylecognine, cocaethylene, norcocaine and methadone. Conclusion: This GC/MS method is sensitive and specific to detect the presence of these 17 analytes in as little as 5. mg of hair and is especially useful for newborn and child hair analysis where the amount of hair is often very limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 10 May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Drugs of abuse
  • GC/MS
  • Hair


Dive into the research topics of 'Simultaneous detection of seventeen drugs of abuse and metabolites in hair using solid phase micro extraction (SPME) with GC/MS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this