Determination of 17 illicit drugs in oral fluid using isotope dilution ultra-high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry with three atmospheric pressure ionizations.J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2010 Nov 15; 878(30):3095-105.JC
The collection of oral fluid for drug testing is easy and non-invasive. This study developed a drug testing method using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) in selected-reaction monitoring (SRM) mode. We tested the method on the analysis of four opiates and their metabolites, five amphetamines, flunitrazepam and its two metabolites, and cocaine and its four metabolites in oral fluid. 100-μL samples of oral fluid were diluted with twice the amount of water then spiked with isotope-labeled internal standards. After the samples had undergone high-speed centrifugation for 20 min, we analyzed the supernatant. The recovery of the sample preparation ranged from 81 to 108%. We compared the performance of electrospray ionization (ESI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI). The ion suppression of most analytes on ESI (28-78%) was lower than that of APCI and APPI. A post-column flow split (5:1) did not reduce the matrix effect on ESI. Direct APPI performed better than dopant-assisted APPI using toluene. ESI, APCI and APPI limits of quantitation mostly ranged from 0.11 to 1.9 ng/mL, 0.02 to 2.2 ng/mL and 0.02 to 2.1 ng/mL, respectively, but were much higher on amphetamine and ecgonine methyl ester (about 2.7-4.7 ng/mL, 8.7-14 ng/mL, and 10-19 ng/mL, respectively). Most of the bias percentages (accuracy) and relative standard deviations (precision) on spiked samples were below 15%. This method greatly simplifies the process of sample preparation and shortens the chromatographic time to only 7.5 min per run and is able to detect analytes at sub-ppb levels.