Toxicology Screening with High-Performance LC-MS/MS

Toxtyper™ from Bruker Daltonics is a robust push-button solution designed for fast toxicology screening, using an intuitive and simplified user interface.

Toxtyper™ offers an automated and powerful drug testing solution that is based on amaZon speed — the fastest commercially available LC-MSn technology. The Toxtyper™ offers a combination of high-performance LC-MS/MS and user-friendly identification, with the maximum transferability of library search results from one lab to another.

The Toxtyper™ solution has been created to fulfill the demands of clinical and forensic research labs. Thanks to the exclusive patented SmartFrag™ Technology, any variation is virtually eliminated, thus avoiding the need for tuning from the MS/MS process. The intuitive Toxtyper™ graphical user interface completely covers up data acquisition and post-processing, thereby offering user-friendly, wizard-based access best suited for multiuser environments.

Key Features of the Toxtyper™

  • Walk-up system with push-button user interface and readily usable LC-MSn methods
  • Exclusive and all-inclusive library of more than 980 toxicology relevant compounds with retention time, MS, MS2, and MS3 spectral info
  • “Open toxicology” principle for fast update of libraries for new evolving drugs and toxins
  • Speed and value with the potential to perform screening, confirmation, and semi-quantitation in a single LC-MSn analysis
  • Drugs and metabolites can be simultaneously identified in low and high abundance, with low ng/mL sensitivities

The Toxtyper™ solution offers ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) in combination with comprehensive drug libraries and true MSn.

Toxtyper™: A Complete Solution for Clinical Research and Forensic Toxicology

The increased demand for specific, comprehensive, and transferable techniques in clinical research and forensic toxicology has paved the way to new advancements in the area of Liquid Chromatography-tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). In conjunction with library searching, LC-MSn is one of the high-potential screening solutions for advanced toxicology research.

Libraries of Drugs

The Toxtyper™ includes a high-quality spectral library of over 980 compounds of interest for toxicology research. This library includes approximately 3,000 spectra of MS, MS2 and MS3 experiments, as well as a smaller targeted library for research related to screening drugs of abuse.

The library search module is part of Bruker’s new Toxtyper™ software package, and enables fast (duty cycle of 11 minutes) and unambiguous identification of drugs. Moreover, the Toxtyper™ supports the Maurer/Wissenbach/Weber LC-MSn library, which contains more than 4500 metabolites, drugs, and artifacts.

Tailor-Made Sub-Libraries for Increased Sensitivity

The Toxtyper™ offers the option to produce targeted libraries for particular demands.

Example of selected drug detection in whole blood at a concentration of 0.5 ng/mL. Image Credit: Bruker Daltonics.

Example of selected drug detection in whole blood at a concentration of 0.5 ng/mL. Image Credit: Bruker Daltonics.

Sample Preparation for a Wide Range of Analytes

Within the Toxtyper™ workflow, it is possible to use various proven sample preparation methods like simple protein precipitation, solid-phase extraction (SPE), or liquid-liquid extraction (LLE). These methods are best-suited for extracting an extensive range of analytes like antidepressants, neuroleptics, hypnotics, and many more.

Full Transferability by SmartFrag™

The Toxtyper™ solution has set new standards in LC-MS/MS toxicology research and transferability from one lab to another. Thanks to Bruker’s patented SmartFrag™ technology, tuning and variation are virtually eliminated from the MS/MS process. Moreover, results and libraries can be easily transferred not only from experiment to experiment, but also from lab to lab.


Image Credit: Bruker Daltonics

Toxtyper™ Complete Application Solutions

From Comprehensive Screening to Targeted Libraries and Semi-Quantification

In recent years, drug abuse with new psychoactive substances has increased, thus continuously changing the analytical landscape for demands on toxic chemical screening. This has made it vital to quickly adopt current screening methods. The Toxtyper™ offers reliable and versatile screening applications evidently required to meet these demands.

The figure below shows example data that demonstrates highly sensitive, simultaneous detection of drugs in human urine. After simple sample preparation (liquid-liquid extraction) of 1 mL of urine, the Toxtyper™ allows detection down to 0.8 ng/mL.


Image Credit: Bruker Daltonics

Open Library Concept

The emergence of new drugs like synthetic cannabinoids has made it vital to quickly update the screening methods. The Toxtyper™ solution offers readily usable spectral reference libraries, which are constantly updated with contributions from Bruker’s collaboration partners and customers. It is possible to create user-defined library entries with a few mouse clicks, thus enabling laboratories to respond quickly to new patterns of licit and illicit drug misuse.

Interactivity Offers Easy Access to High-Value Data

The highly dynamic and intuitive Toxtyper™ graphical user interface can be tailored to the preference of users. In order to ensure fast and easy evaluation of results, the identified compounds can be sorted using different parameters, for example, by retention time, peak intensity, or alphabetically. Moreover, the evaluation options are supported by color-coding the deviating parameters in mass shift or retention time, or of lower purity scores.


Image Credit: Bruker Daltonics

Toxtyper™ Case Study: Analysis of Drugs and Toxins in the Katharinenhospital Stuttgart

Analysis of drugs through immunological methods is fast, but not always reliable. The existing screening tests can easily result in false-positive results. So far, the Stuttgart hospital had been using complicated and time-consuming GC-MS analysis for the validation of such immunoassay results.

Since March 2017, the hospital has been using the Toxtyper™ system for the screening of toxins and drugs in blood, urine, and oral fluid. The Toxtyper™ avoids the need for lengthy sample preparation, while delivering reliable and fast results that are reproducible and highly specific. Moreover, the Toxtyper™ realizes a high level of confidence with toxicological analysis prior to neurological diagnosis of irreversible brain failure.

Case Study

A 34-year-old patient with the symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and vomiting is admitted to the emergency room of the hospital. The anamnesis points towards possible drug consumption, but the patient denies using illegal drugs.

Screening of urine by different immunoassays was negative for Amphetamines, Benzodiapezepins, Barbiturates, Cannabis, Cocaine, and Opiates. The Toxtyper™ detected the presence of Mitragynin and various metabolites of Speciociliantin and Paynanthein, which are alkaloids existing in leaves and fruits of the Kratom tree. The German narcotics law has no regulations on Kratom, which is used as a substitute for Opioids.

Screening, Confirmation, and Semi-Quantitation in One Run

Any of the Toxtyper™ libraries can be used to extend the standard workflows by applying additional automated methods for semi-quantitation. A single-point calibration for the target compounds using internal standards offers data related to the concentration range (for example, above or below a target value) within the same, single LC-MSn analysis.


Image Credit: Bruker Daltonics

Rapid Toxicology Screening

Video Credit: Bruker Daltonics

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