The focus of a forensic toxicology laboratory is to determine the presence or absence of drugs in biological samples. Often times when it comes to drug testing, the sensitivity of the analytical method is critical because scientists need to detect chemical compounds in very small amounts.
Multidimensional liquid chromatography (2DLC) is one option forensics labs can use to test biological samples, such as urine, blood, oral fluid, hair, to determine if an illicit drug or toxin played a role in a person's death.
Our Behind the Science host Jen goes back to our new 2D-LC lab to meet Claude Mallet, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Waters, and Sabra Botch-Jones, M.S., M.A., D-ABFT-FT, an assistant professor in the department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Biomedical Forensic Sciences, at Boston University School of Medicine (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/gms/msci/about...) to learn how her lab uses 2DLC.
Traditional sample preparation uses liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) or solid-phase extraction (SPE) processes prior to analysis, which are time-consuming but effective methods to isolate the target analyte. Multidimensional chromatography can be an effective and efficient alternative workflow to perform micro-extraction and quantitative analysis at low levels of detection.
See Claude and Sabra's full protocol for analyzing 12 illicit drugs in urine, achieving 90% recovery rates and 100 ppt LOD from a 1 mL sample volume, in our application note: http://bit.ly/2Iy8D3e
Learn about 2D LC systems from Waters:
See how 2D-LC is used for proteomics and metabolomics in the core MS lab at Duke University:
See how 2D-LC is used to identify host cell protein impurities in biopharmaceutical products: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_phVdvAs8QE
Boston University School of Medicine's Forensics program: