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Automated vs. Manual Sample Preparation in Forensic Toxicology

27 September 2016

Recovery profiles from manual and automated supported liquid extraction protocols were put side by side in a study on drugs of abuse in blood and urine matrices.


Data reliability in forensic toxicology is of paramount importance. The possibility of false positives and/or false negatives can have wide ranging consequences and impacts decisions on various parts of the analytical method development process. A poster presented at TIAFT 2016 in Brisbane, Australia, compares the performance of manual processing to a novel automated sample preparation system prior to GC/MS or LC-MS/MS analysis, putting emphasis on the potential for 96-well cross contamination and strategies for its elimination.


  • This poster describes effective use of a novel sample preparation system for both column and 96-well plate format and strategies for the elimination of cross contamination.
  • Analyte volatility is a key component to the potential for cross contamination.
  • Evaporative cross contamination can be affected by gas flow, temperature, nozzle height and solvent properties.
  • The Biotage® ACT plate has proved effective for reducing or eliminating evaporative cross contamination as shown by the analyte “hot spot” experiments.
  • The Extrahera automated sample preparation platform functions with 24-column and 96-well arrangement for the adaptation of manual extraction methods.

Download the poster below.