Forensic toxicology is the analysis of biological samples for the presence of toxins, including drugs. The toxicology report can provide key information as to the type of substances present in an individual and if the amount of those substances is consistent with a therapeutic dosage or is above a harmful level. These results can be used to make inferences when determining a substance's potential effect on an individual's death, illness, or mental or physical impairment.
Forensic toxicology testing allows forensic scientists to identify substances and determine a pattern of use. Suicidal, homicidal and accidental cases of poisoning are common in India and in other countries. With the availability of various agents like pesticides, insecticides, drugs, chemicals the probability of the misuse of the same is happening. The substances of preference for poisoning are aconite, strychnine, calotropis, oleander, copper, mercury, arsenic etc. The forensic toxicology laboratory, thus, analyzes body fluids and tissues to determine the presence of these substances. Toxicologists conduct the analysis, issue reports on their findings, and provide court testimony to interpret the test results.
Analyzing complex body fluids for the presence of drugs and/or toxicants together with their associated metabolites is a challenging application especially when ‘getting it right first time’ is of major importance.
TargetScreener HR is designed to meet these challenges and either accurately report which drugs/toxicants are present in the sample, or if no matches are found in the database, then provide several key pieces of analytical data and information to give the best chance of elucidating an identification.
The Toxtyper solution was developed to meet the needs of forensic and clinical research labs. Toxtyper is the most robust productive and easy-to-use LCMS seeing solution for toxicology. The Toxtyper can perform screening, confirmation, and semiquantitative in one run at part per billion sensitivity beyond what conventional GCMS screening solutions can offer. This means it is possible to detect the targeted substances and its metabolites in a wide range of biological matrices at concentrations down to low Nanograms/milliliters.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 2017;41:484–492 doi: 10.1093/jat/bkx041
Determination of medicinal and illicit drugs in post-mortem dental hard tissues and comparison with analytical results for body fluids and hair samples - ScienceDirect
" All substances are poisons: there is none which is not poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy."
Case study 1
Determination of medicinal and illicit drugs in post-mortem dental hard tissues and comparison with analytical results for body fluids and hair samples
In burnt or skeletonized bodies dental hard tissue sometimes is the only remaining specimen available. Therefore, it could be used as an alternative matrix in post-mortem toxicology. Like hair and nails, dental hard tissues accumulate drugs during long-term exposure. As a basis for interpreting analytical results, the factors which influence drug concentrations in dental hard tissues need to be investigated
Case study 2
Qualitative Identification of Fentanyl Analogs and Other Opioids in Postmortem Cases by UHPLC-Ion Trap-MSn
Since 2013, the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department has experienced an increase in the number of opioid-related deaths. In 2015, two novel fentanyl analogs were identified: beta-hydroxythiofentanyl and acetyl fentanyl. In 2016, four additional fentanyl analogs emerged: para-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl, butyryl fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, and carfentanil, Blood, urine, liver or brain specimens from ~500 postmortem cases were submitted for analysis based on case history and/or initial screening results.
The typical toxicology approach includes two analytical steps: a first screening step, performed with broad-spectrum, sensitive, rapid, and low-cost techniques, aimed at avoiding “false negative” results, followed by more specific and quantitative analyses, although more complex, time-consuming and expensive, aimed at excluding “false positives”.
Today's forensic toxicology and clinical research labs are challenged by demands for fast and accurate results, along with lab efficiency and cost reduction. Further pressure results from the continuous emergence of new drugs into the market, requiring frequent updates of sample screening methods.