Validity of Substances of Abuse Detection in Hair by Biochips Array Technology

Ahmed R Ragab, Maha K Al-Ma

Abstract

Using hair as a biological specimen to analyze drug abuse has been receiving elevated attention during last years because of flexibility of collection procedure and because hair does not autolysis like other body fluids or tissues. Hair testing provides a broad-spectrum detection window after drug exposure than urine testing. Hair analysis has specific criteria that it provides a way of obtaining information that cannot be acquired by other commonly used forensic toxicology analytical procedures, such as blood or urine analysis. In the hair matrix, many xenobiotics are trapped permanently, in disparity to the situation with blood or urine where they are only identifiable for a few hours or days. Subsequently substance of abuse detection by hair analysis should be the target procedure in the clinical and forensic toxicology aspect when the evaluation of repeated or chronic exposure to a drug is indicated, e.g. in the case of pre-employment/workplace testing, criminal affairs or a driving license restoration. In the current study, seventy cases of the application of hair analyses using this technique for the determination of substances of abuse (opiates, cannabis, amphetamine, barbiturate, benzodiazepines, and cocaine) are investigated. Analytical toxicology procedure for detection of substance of abuse is critical important: Biochips array technology that confirmed with GC/MS has proved to be a highly sensitive and specific technique for the detection of substances of abuse at very low concentrations in hair except for cannabis.

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