Method Of Detecting Drugs Of Abuse In Exhaled Breath Developed


Method Of Detecting Drugs Of Abuse In Exhaled Breath
(Image source)
Drug testing is most commonly performed using urine samples. The methodology and regulations for reliable urine testing are well developed and can be considered the current gold standard for drug testing. However, one problem with urine testing is related to the methodology of sample collection, often perceived as inconvenient and privacy-overriding by those undergoing the test. As such, a group of researchers have worked on developing a more donor-friendly alternative to urine testing for drugs by focusing on exhaled breath. The method is published in the Journal of Chomatography B.
 
The procedure involves a simple method of sample collection and preparation, which is followed by a highly sensitive analytical technique known as LC-MS (Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry). The drug groups which are identifiable following the technique include: amphetamines, methamphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and heroin.
 
The underlying mechanism in exhaled breath drug testing is believed to be the formation of aerosol particles from the airway lining fluid by the breathing process. These aerosol particles may become contaminated with drugs present in the body, which enables drugs to be highlighted. A simple collection device is currently available which selectively collects the micrometer aerosol particles on a filter and enables further laboratory investigation of possible drug content.
 
The method could in the future be used in roadside tests relating to DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), workplace, criminal justice, accidents and compliance monitoring of patients.
 
Based on material originally posted by Elsevier.