Electromembrane extraction of drugs of abuse and prescription drugs from micropulverized hair

J Anal Toxicol. 2024 Jun 11:bkae051. doi: 10.1093/jat/bkae051. Online ahead of print.


Hair analysis can provide chronological insights into past drug use for months to years after drug administration. In comparison to analyses from other biological matrices, such as blood and urine, sample pretreatment is often tedious and not environmental friendly. In this study, we present a more environmental friendly approach to hair analysis using micropulverized hair and electromembrane extraction for the efficient extraction of 15 drugs of abuse, prescription drugs, and metabolites from hair. The optimized extraction method, involving micropulverization, demonstrated comparable yields to the standard approach of cutting and overnight incubation. A 15-min extraction method using a commercial electromembrane extraction prototype was developed and validated according to forensic guidelines, using only 10 µl of organic solvent per sample. The final method, employing HPLC-MS-MS with a biphenyl column, exhibited good linearity, precision, and sensitivity. An AgreePrep assessment comparing the environmental impact of our method with the standard routine method, involving overnight incubation and conventional liquid-liquid extraction, was conducted. This is the first time micropulverized hair has been subjected to electromembrane extraction.