Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 406, Issue 15, pp 3589–3597 | Cite as

Molecularly imprinted polymer for selective determination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 11-nor-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid using LC-MS/MS in urine and oral fluid

  • E. LendoiroEmail author
  • A. de Castro
  • H. Fernández-Vega
  • M. C. Cela-Pérez
  • J. M. López-Vilariño
  • M. V. González-Rodríguez
  • A. Cruz
  • M. López-Rivadulla
Research Paper
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Forensic Toxicology


The use of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for solid phase extraction (MISPE) allows a rapid and selective extraction compared with traditional methods. Determination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 11-nor-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH) in oral fluid (OF) and urine was performed using homemade MISPEs for sample clean-up and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Cylindrical MISPE shaped pills were synthesized using catechin as a mimic template. MISPEs were added to 0.5 mL OF or urine sample and sonicated 30 min for adsorption of analytes. For desorption, the MISPE was transfered to a clean tube, and sonicated for 15 min with 2 mL acetone:acetonitrile (3:1, v/v). The elution solvent was evaporated and reconstituted in mobile phase. Chromatographic separation was performed using a SunFire C18 (2.5 μm; 2.1 × 20 mm) column, and formic acid 0.1 % and acetonitrile as mobile phase, with a total run time of 5 min. The method was fully validated including selectivity (no endogenous or exogenous interferences), linearity (1–500 ng/mL in OF, and 2.5–500 ng/mL in urine), limit of detection (0.75 and 1 ng/mL in OF and urine, respectively), imprecision (%CV <12.3 %), accuracy (98.2–107.0 % of target), extraction recovery (15.9–53.5 %), process efficiency (10.1–46.2 %), and matrix effect (<−55 %). Analytes were stable for 72 h in the autosampler. Dilution 1:10 was assured in OF, and Quantisal™ matrix effect showed ion suppression (<−80.4 %). The method was applied to the analysis of 20 OF and 11 urine specimens. This is the first method for determination of THC and THC-COOH in OF using MISPE technology.


Molecularly imprinted polymer Oral fluid Urine THC THC-COOH LC-MS/MS 



E. Lendoiro would like to thank Consellería de Cultura, Educación e Ordenación Universitaria, Xunta de Galicia, for her predoctoral contract (PRE/2011/072), and A. de Castro thanks Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Gobierno de España, for her “Torres Quevedo” contract (PTQ-10-03936).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Lendoiro
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. de Castro
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Fernández-Vega
    • 1
  • M. C. Cela-Pérez
    • 3
  • J. M. López-Vilariño
    • 3
  • M. V. González-Rodríguez
    • 3
  • A. Cruz
    • 1
  • M. López-Rivadulla
    • 1
  1. 1.Servicio de Toxicología, Instituto de Ciencias ForensesUniversidad de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de I + DCienytechSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Grupo de Polímeros, Centro de Investigaciones TecnológicasUniversidad de A CoruñaFerrolSpain

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