Welcome to the Biotage Sample Preparation Blog

      Is Sample Prep the only thing to consider for successful analyses?

      September 25, 2020 at 9:04 AM / by Jeremy Smith posted in Sample preparation

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      We’ve all been there. We prepare a batch of samples to analyze, prime our systems, warm up the detector, and within 2-3 injections we receive an error message stating that an integral component has failed for one reason or another. This can be a dreadful experience, especially for a routine production laboratory. 

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      How do I come up with a starting point for my SPE method?

      September 22, 2020 at 4:15 PM / by Jillian Neifeld, MS posted in SPE solid phase extraction, Solid-phase extraction

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      You've just decided to develop a solid phase extraction (SPE) method for a new assay in your lab. However, there are so many decisions to be made! Which company to choose? Which product to use? Polymer based sorbent or silica based? Cation or anion exchange? While this seems incredibly difficult, it doesn't have to be that hard!

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      What is Crosstalk and how do I Prevent it from Contaminating my Samples?

      September 18, 2020 at 1:47 PM / by Stephanie J. Marin, Ph.D. posted in amphetamines, contamination, false positive result

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      Evaporative crosstalk is contamination that occurs during evaporation of the elution solvent after SLE or SPE extraction. Volatile analytes evaporate, then redistribute in adjacent wells in a 96-well plate. This can generate false positive results and require re-extraction of patient specimens. Addition of HCl in methanol (MeOH) to produce the salt of volatile compounds like sympathomimetic amines is used to control crosstalk. The type of evaporator, conditions and solvents used can all contribute to crosstalk. 

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      What are the first steps to building a proper method?

      September 4, 2020 at 8:40 AM / by Dan Menasco posted in Chromatography Fundamentals, Detector

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      Before we get into our extractions, we need to set up our LC/MS to detect our analytes of interest. The LC will provide the chromatography - or separation of our analytes - and the MS will support detection. So which one do we evaluate first? Well, if you can’t “see” the analytes, what good is perfecting their chromatography? So, first, let’s get the MS focused, or tuned, for optimum analyte detection.

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      Trying to develop a new method? How do I do a literature search?

      September 4, 2020 at 8:34 AM / by Dan Menasco posted in Sample preparation, Method development

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      When trying to develop a new method for the detection of a drug panel, you need to refer to reliable sources to learn all you need to know regarding your analytes. For this post, we’ll go in detail through the search process with analytes like naloxone, buprenorphine, norfentanyl and methadone using urine as our matrix of focus.

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      Need good sources of reference for sample prep method development?

      September 4, 2020 at 8:33 AM / by Dan Menasco posted in Sample preparation, Method development

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      The sole purpose for method development is to construct a robust and analytically sound method that will not just pass the barriers of validation, but provide physicians and patients with sound and reliable results. But where to start?

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      Synthetic Cannabinoids: how to extract them from whole blood?

      August 26, 2020 at 2:41 PM / by Jillian Neifeld, MS posted in SLE Supported Liquid Extraction, Forensic, Clinical, Whole Blood, Cannabinoids

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      Synthetic cannabinoids are some of the most widely abused drugs in the world. They are structurally similar and have similar effects to marijuana but are frequently referred to as “legal highs”. Chemists are constantly changing the structures of these compounds to keep them in a legal state and governments can’t keep up with adding them to scheduled lists. So, how do we analyze for these compounds? How can they be easily extracted from whole blood?

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      Why should I filter my samples instead of doing dilute-and-shoot?

      August 26, 2020 at 8:00 AM / by Jillian Neifeld, MS posted in Extraction method optimization, Sample preparation, Method development

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      Let's face it, the whole solid phase extraction method development process can be time consuming and expensive. So Dilute-and-Shoot methods end up being the choice in some laboratories. The problem is that these methods are dirty and lead to a lot of other issues. In this blog post, I'll be discussing filtration methods and how those are a superior option to Dilute-and-Shoot.

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      Methods for a drug class or one large panel - what's the difference

      August 23, 2020 at 8:00 AM / by Stephanie J. Marin, Ph.D. posted in LC-MS, GC-MS, Extraction method optimization, Sample preparation, Method development

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      Most clinical and forensic labs have a used a traditional approach for drug testing called screen with reflex to confirmation. This involves analyzing samples using an immunoassay technique that identifies a drug class. Positive immunoassay results are then analyzed by a second more specific method, like GC-MS or LC-MS/MS, to identify and quantitate specific drug analytes.  

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      There and Square Again: A Frit Coverage Tale

      August 20, 2020 at 8:00 AM / by Jeremy Smith posted in Troubleshooting and Optimization, Loading Techniques, SLE Supported Liquid Extraction, Sample preparation

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      Have you ever encountered problems loading your samples onto an SPE or SLE plate?  Aside from sample viscosity or cartridge blockages, a good troubleshooting step to start with is ensuring that you are achieving complete frit coverage on the load.

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