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Single Hair Analysis of Small Molecules Using MALDI-Triple Quadrupole MS Imaging and LC-MS/MS: Investigations on Opportunities and Pitfalls

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posted on 2014-12-02, 00:00 authored by Michael Poetzsch, Andrea E. Steuer, Andreas T. Roemmelt, Markus R. Baumgartner, Thomas Kraemer
Single hair analysis normally requires extensive sample preparation microscale protocols including time-consuming steps like segmentation and extraction. Matrix assisted laser desorption and ionization mass spectrometric imaging (MALDI-MSI) was shown to be an alternative tool in single hair analysis, but still, questions remain. Therefore, an investigation of MALDI-MSI in single hair analysis concerning the extraction process, usage of internal standard (IS), and influences on the ionization processes were systematically investigated to enable the reliable application to hair analysis. Furthermore, single dose detection, quantitative correlation to a single hair, and hair strand LC-MS/MS results were performed, and the performance was compared to LC-MS/MS single hair monitoring. The MALDI process was shown to be independent from natural hair color and not influenced by the presence of melanin. Ionization was shown to be reproducible along and in between different hair samples. MALDI image intensities in single hair and hair snippets showed good semiquantitative correlation to zolpidem hair concentrations obtained from validated routine LC-MS/MS methods. MALDI-MSI is superior to LC-MS/MS analysis when a fast, easy, and cheap sample preparation is necessary, whereas LC-MS/MS showed higher sensitivity with the ability of single dose detection for zolpidem. MALDI-MSI and LC-MS/MS segmental single hair analysis showed good correlation, and both are suitable for consumption monitoring of drugs of abuse with a high time resolution.

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