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Use of LC/MS/MS to Rapidly Perform First-Pass Screening for Drugs and Poisons in Postmortem Toxicology Cases

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2003, $407,451)

The purpose of this grant application is to investigate the feasibility of using electrospray ionization/liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (ESI/LC/MS/MS) as replacement methodology for enzyme immunoassay (EIA) in order to perform a comprehensive screen for drugs and poisons in postmortem samples. This approach builds on our expertise in our already validated and published procedure for the rapid analysis of whole blood and other autopsy specimens using EIA. This procedure has gained worldwide recognition for its usefulness and reliability. Our goal is to further enhance this established procedure by using the protein precipitate methodology currently used for EIA and adapt it for use by LC/MS/MS in the analysis of biological fluids and tissues. Such a procedure will expand significantly the number of drugs and poisons that may be screened than just using EIA alone. Furthermore, this procedure will be a less expensive alternative for drug screening, since expensive EIA reagents will then be obviated. The further advantage of this procedure is that only a straightforward and rapid extraction will be required to test for over hundred drugs using LC/MS/MS.

Date Created: September 29, 2003