Biochemical approach on the conservation of drug molecules during hair fiber formation

Forensic Sci Int. 1997 Jan 17;84(1-3):25-35. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(96)02045-2.


A biochemical concept for the endogenous incorporation of drug molecules into growing hair is presented. It is based on the principles of transport across biomembranes, on the principles of biotransformation and drug melanin affinity. The approach gives explanations for current observations in hair analysis, which up to date have not been understood sufficiently. Phenomena such as the ratio of parent drug to metabolite in hair, the dependence of incorporation on the physico-chemical properties of the drug, the independence of drug incorporation on active melanogenesis (incorporation into non-pigmented hair) as well as the dependence of drug content on hair pigmentation are elucidated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Biotransformation / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Drug Interactions
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Hair / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Melanins / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pigmentation / drug effects
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Biomarkers
  • Melanins
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations