Bioanalysis Zone

Spot them in the spot: analysis of abused substances using dried blood spots

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Dried blood spot (DBS) sampling and DBS analysis have increasingly received attention during recent years. Furthermore, a substantial number of DBS methods has recently become available in clinical, forensic and occupational toxicology. In this review, we provide an overview of the different DBS-based methods that have been developed for detecting (markers of) abused substances. These include both legal and illegal drugs belonging to different categories, including cannabinoids, cocaine and metabolites, opioids, benzodiazepines and Z-drugs, amphetamines and analogs, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, ketamine and novel psychoactive substances such as cathinones. Markers of ethanol consumption and tobacco use are also covered in this review. Since the majority of published methods has shown promising results overall, an interesting role for DBS analysis in diverse toxicological applications can be envisaged. For the distinct applications, we discuss the specific potential and benefits of DBS, the associated limitations and challenges, as well as recent developments and future perspectives.

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