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A blog on the latest applications, articles, & research on chromatography solutions in sample preparation, Ion Chromatography (IC),
High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Ion Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (IC-MS), Gas Chromatography (GC),
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS and GC-MS/MS), and software (Chromeleon CDS, LIMS, and ProteinCenter).

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Catching Sports Doping Cheaters with GC-MS/MS


sports doping, steroids, GC-MS/MS, Triple quadrupole, TSQ Quantum XLS, Thermo Scientific

Sports doping surely has gone on for as long as there has been sports.  The reason seems simple, do anything to win.  In the past this might have been approved of or at least over looked.  Today that is not the case and there is a cost.  Honesty, playing fair, and integrity are just as important as winning.  Work hard for the win, don’t take short cuts.  We have developed a method that provides the ability to screen and quantitate some common steroids to low levels precisely. 

Use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports continues to spark media attention across the world.  The potential financial and social impact of athletes screening positive for anabolic steroids has increased the importance of accuracy in drug screening.  Although screening methods exist, the ability to reliably detect and quantitate low concentrations of steroids complex biological matrices remains a challenge for many laboratories.  In recent years, triple quadrupole technology with the high selective hyperbolic quadrupole assembly provides the appropriate tools necessary for low concentration drug screening analysis. 

We used a GC Triple Quadrupole mass spectrometer in select reaction monitoring mode (SRM).  A full scan of a positive control sample at 10 ng/mL was used to determine retention times and parameters for the SRM method.  In a SRM method, specific transitions are monitored in a narrow window around the retention time of each individual compound.  Optimal monitoring transitions are selected from a group of the most abundant product ions for each selected compound.  We show an example of this depicting the selection from five product ion candidates for the precursor 19-norandrosterone.

Data acquisition parameters were established by selecting two ion precursor-product ion transitions for each target compound, and two ions for the deuterated internal standard d3-testosterone, seen in the application note.  Standards at 10 ng/mL were measured prior to sample analysis to confirm system suitability and provide ion ratio confirmation limits. Five replicates of five unknown specimens in urine matrix were analyzed for clenbuterol, 19-norandrosterone, 17β-methyl-5β-androst-1-ene-3α,17α-diol, 17α-methyl-5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol and 3'-hydroxystanozolol content.  Method performance was assessed for repeatability (precision) and conformance to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) analysis criteria.

Download application note here; Sports Doping


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