Innovative analytical method for the identification and quantification of drugs

An innovative methodology for the analysis of opiates and opioid compounds in dried spots obtained from biological fluids such as plasma, serum, saliva, sweat and urine.

Title of the patent Process for the preservation of a biological fluid sample and the analysis thereof
Thematic area Chemistry and biotechnology
Ownership Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna
Inventors Maria Augusta Raggi, Laura Mercolini
Protection Italy
Licensing status Available for licensing agreement
Keywords Opioids/opiates, drugs of abuse, mass spectrometry, dried matrix spots, fluorescence
Filed on Dec 17, 2012

The analysis of opioids / opiates in biological fluids is affected by various problems related to the collection, transport, storage and pretreatment of samples. For these reasons, analytic methods currently present in the scientific literature and available for these purposes does not yield reliable results and are very expensive. Also has long been known the remarkable instability of several drugs (including opioids and opiates) within the biological fluid once they have been collected and sampled.

A method for preserving and analyzing a biological fluid containing an opiate /opioid compound; the method provides for drying a drop of the fluid on a support of paper by means of microwaves so as to obtain a dried stain (dried spot), store the dried stain and extract the mixture opiate / opioid from the card holder and subjecting it to high performance liquid chromatography pressure with spectrofluorimetric detection or liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and a combination of them.

The invention allows to evaluate the use of substances that may be employed either as drugs or as drugs of abuse, in a fast and economic way, ensuring great reliability of analytical results. The invention can be used to customize and optimize drug therapies to patients suffering from severe pain (eg. cancer pain) or to monitor subjects in detoxification treatment (eg. heroin addicts). At the same time it can be used to evaluate cases of abuse of opiates and opioids in people at the helm, in the context of road checks or groups of workers at risk in the workplace.