Critical comparison of mass analyzers for forensic hair analysis by ambient ionizations mass spectrometry

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Abstract

Rationale
Recently, several direct and/or ambient mass spectrometry (MS) approaches have been suggested for drugs of abuse imaging in hair. The use of mass spectrometers with insufficient selectivity could result in false-positive measurements due to isobaric interferences. Different mass analyzers have been evaluated regarding their selectivity and sensitivity for the detection of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from intact hair samples using direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization.

Methods
Four different mass analyzers, namely (1) an orbitrap, (2) a quadrupole orbitrap, (3) a triple quadrupole, and (4) a quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF), were evaluated. Selectivity and sensitivity were assessed by analyzing secondary THC standard dilutions on stainless steel mesh screens and blank hair samples, and by the analysis of authentic cannabis user hair samples. Additionally, separation of isobaric ions by use of travelling wave ion mobility (TWIM) was investigated.

Results
The use of a triple quadrupole instrument resulted in the highest sensitivity; however, transitions used for multiple reaction monitoring were only found to be specific when using high mass resolution product ion measurements. A mass resolution of at least 30,000 FWHM at m/z 315 was necessary to avoid overlap of THC with isobaric ions originating from the hair matrix. Even though selectivity was enhanced by use of TWIM, the QTOF instrument in resolution mode could not indisputably differentiate THC from endogenous isobaric ions in drug user hair samples.

Conclusions
Only the high resolution of the (quadrupole) orbitrap instruments and the QTOF instrument in high-resolution mode distinguished THC in hair samples from endogenous isobaric interferences. As expected, enhanced selectivity compromises sensitivity and THC was only detectable in hair from heavy users
LanguageEnglish
Pages2331-2340
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Volume30
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Dronabinol
Ionization
Mass spectrometry
Ions
Stainless Steel
Street Drugs
Mass spectrometers
Cannabis
Full width at half maximum
Dilution
Imaging techniques
Monitoring
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Cite this

@article{2d5ceaa9190d40e98303c346909997bc,
title = "Critical comparison of mass analyzers for forensic hair analysis by ambient ionizations mass spectrometry",
abstract = "RationaleRecently, several direct and/or ambient mass spectrometry (MS) approaches have been suggested for drugs of abuse imaging in hair. The use of mass spectrometers with insufficient selectivity could result in false-positive measurements due to isobaric interferences. Different mass analyzers have been evaluated regarding their selectivity and sensitivity for the detection of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from intact hair samples using direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization.MethodsFour different mass analyzers, namely (1) an orbitrap, (2) a quadrupole orbitrap, (3) a triple quadrupole, and (4) a quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF), were evaluated. Selectivity and sensitivity were assessed by analyzing secondary THC standard dilutions on stainless steel mesh screens and blank hair samples, and by the analysis of authentic cannabis user hair samples. Additionally, separation of isobaric ions by use of travelling wave ion mobility (TWIM) was investigated.ResultsThe use of a triple quadrupole instrument resulted in the highest sensitivity; however, transitions used for multiple reaction monitoring were only found to be specific when using high mass resolution product ion measurements. A mass resolution of at least 30,000 FWHM at m/z 315 was necessary to avoid overlap of THC with isobaric ions originating from the hair matrix. Even though selectivity was enhanced by use of TWIM, the QTOF instrument in resolution mode could not indisputably differentiate THC from endogenous isobaric ions in drug user hair samples.ConclusionsOnly the high resolution of the (quadrupole) orbitrap instruments and the QTOF instrument in high-resolution mode distinguished THC in hair samples from endogenous isobaric interferences. As expected, enhanced selectivity compromises sensitivity and THC was only detectable in hair from heavy users",
author = "W.F. Duvivier and {van Beek}, T.A. and M.W.F. Nielen",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1002/rcm.7722",
language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "2331--2340",
journal = "Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry",
issn = "0951-4198",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "21",

}

Critical comparison of mass analyzers for forensic hair analysis by ambient ionizations mass spectrometry. / Duvivier, W.F.; van Beek, T.A.; Nielen, M.W.F.

In: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 30, No. 21, 2016, p. 2331-2340.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Critical comparison of mass analyzers for forensic hair analysis by ambient ionizations mass spectrometry

AU - Duvivier, W.F.

AU - van Beek, T.A.

AU - Nielen, M.W.F.

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - RationaleRecently, several direct and/or ambient mass spectrometry (MS) approaches have been suggested for drugs of abuse imaging in hair. The use of mass spectrometers with insufficient selectivity could result in false-positive measurements due to isobaric interferences. Different mass analyzers have been evaluated regarding their selectivity and sensitivity for the detection of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from intact hair samples using direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization.MethodsFour different mass analyzers, namely (1) an orbitrap, (2) a quadrupole orbitrap, (3) a triple quadrupole, and (4) a quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF), were evaluated. Selectivity and sensitivity were assessed by analyzing secondary THC standard dilutions on stainless steel mesh screens and blank hair samples, and by the analysis of authentic cannabis user hair samples. Additionally, separation of isobaric ions by use of travelling wave ion mobility (TWIM) was investigated.ResultsThe use of a triple quadrupole instrument resulted in the highest sensitivity; however, transitions used for multiple reaction monitoring were only found to be specific when using high mass resolution product ion measurements. A mass resolution of at least 30,000 FWHM at m/z 315 was necessary to avoid overlap of THC with isobaric ions originating from the hair matrix. Even though selectivity was enhanced by use of TWIM, the QTOF instrument in resolution mode could not indisputably differentiate THC from endogenous isobaric ions in drug user hair samples.ConclusionsOnly the high resolution of the (quadrupole) orbitrap instruments and the QTOF instrument in high-resolution mode distinguished THC in hair samples from endogenous isobaric interferences. As expected, enhanced selectivity compromises sensitivity and THC was only detectable in hair from heavy users

AB - RationaleRecently, several direct and/or ambient mass spectrometry (MS) approaches have been suggested for drugs of abuse imaging in hair. The use of mass spectrometers with insufficient selectivity could result in false-positive measurements due to isobaric interferences. Different mass analyzers have been evaluated regarding their selectivity and sensitivity for the detection of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from intact hair samples using direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization.MethodsFour different mass analyzers, namely (1) an orbitrap, (2) a quadrupole orbitrap, (3) a triple quadrupole, and (4) a quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF), were evaluated. Selectivity and sensitivity were assessed by analyzing secondary THC standard dilutions on stainless steel mesh screens and blank hair samples, and by the analysis of authentic cannabis user hair samples. Additionally, separation of isobaric ions by use of travelling wave ion mobility (TWIM) was investigated.ResultsThe use of a triple quadrupole instrument resulted in the highest sensitivity; however, transitions used for multiple reaction monitoring were only found to be specific when using high mass resolution product ion measurements. A mass resolution of at least 30,000 FWHM at m/z 315 was necessary to avoid overlap of THC with isobaric ions originating from the hair matrix. Even though selectivity was enhanced by use of TWIM, the QTOF instrument in resolution mode could not indisputably differentiate THC from endogenous isobaric ions in drug user hair samples.ConclusionsOnly the high resolution of the (quadrupole) orbitrap instruments and the QTOF instrument in high-resolution mode distinguished THC in hair samples from endogenous isobaric interferences. As expected, enhanced selectivity compromises sensitivity and THC was only detectable in hair from heavy users

U2 - 10.1002/rcm.7722

DO - 10.1002/rcm.7722

M3 - Article

VL - 30

SP - 2331

EP - 2340

JO - Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

T2 - Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

JF - Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

SN - 0951-4198

IS - 21

ER -