Hair testing using Mass Spectrometry for Forensic Applications
Hair testing is increasing across the field of forensic toxicology. It allows the investigation of past exposure towards xenobiotics and history of use overtime. Testing the candidate’s hair allows determination of long term abstinence and is becoming an important matrix of choice for selected forensic testing applications.
In order to confirm this with confidence, not only are the parent drugs monitored but also the drug metabolites in hair. As an example, testing of one of the marijuana metabolite (THC-COOH) requires a unique mass spectrometric analysis (MRM3) that is only reliably achievable on a QTRAP® instrument. We present a method on a SCIEX QTRAP® 6500+ LC-MS/MS system that reproducibly detects and quantifies THC-COOH levels in hair down to 0.04 pg/mg.
We will also discuss a single LC-MS/MS method approach to allow for rapid, reliable screening as well as simultaneous identification and confirmation of an exemplary compound panel.
Key Learning Points:
Understand why hair testing is becoming a popular choice for selected forensic applications
Basics of Linear Ion Trap technology and performing MRM3 experiments on a QTRAP® instrument; maximizing selectivity when confirming and quantifying low level metabolites in difficult hair matrices
How to effectively adopt the use of QTRAP® instrumentation in simultaneous identification and confirmation of drugs from hair
Kevin He Application Scientist, Technical Business Development Lead SCIEX