A validation study of the 4-panel iCup T.M. A.D. zero exposure urine drug screens using delta-9-THC, synthetic cannabinoids, and metabolites in urine
Federico, Michaela J.
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As forensic scientists, we are required to accurately test for certain substances. This may necessitate the use of presumptive tests such as the One Step Multi-Drug Screen Test Card with the Integrated iCup®/iCup®A.D . There are many circumstances where these tests are applicable, such as job-related drug testing, custody and parole cases. An immunoassay, or presumptive test, is designed to give the analyst, even a non-scientific analyst, a general idea of what substance(s) are present in the individuals system, so that he or she is able to more accurately confirm what substances, if any, the individual may have used or consumed. The goal of the validation study of the One Step Multi-Drug Screen Test Card with the Integrated iCup®/iCup®A.D was to determine the sensitivity of various THC containing compounds (delta-9-THC, 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-THC, and 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC) as well as different solutions containing Synthetic Cannabinoids at various concentrations and stored at different temperatures. Each of the drugs were tested below, at and above the cut-off of the drug stated by the manufacturer. The cut-off of 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-THC, given by the manufacturer, was 50 ng/mL. For every trial that was conducted, the drug could be detected in the iCup® at this limit of detection of 50 ng/mL, except when the drug had been stored in the freezer for approximately two months prior to use. Delta-9-THC was given a cut-off of 15,000 ng/mL, which is a high concentration, especially when these assays are used in custodial cases and job-related drug tests, where living individuals are providing a fresh specimen. The concentrations of delta-9-THC and 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC were higher than the cut-off for a positive result of 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-THC, but it was tested below the 15,000 ng/mL cut-off for delta-9-THC, established by the manufacturer. After these adjustments were made, both delta-9-THC and 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC could be detected in a range between 1,500 ng/mL and 5,000 ng/mL. While 1,500 ng/mL is still high for a living specimen, it is substantially lower than 15,000 ng/mL. Analyzing the higher concentration of the synthetic cannabinoid working stock solution of 10,000 ng/mL, positive results were detected at 3,500 ng/mL and 5,000 ng/mL. There were eight cannabinoids, metabolites, and synthetic cannabinoids found in the working stock solution: (1) THC, (2) 11-Hyroxy-delta-9-THC, (3) 11-nor-9-Carboxy-delta-9-THC, (4) AB-FUBINACA, (5) AB-FUBINACA Met. 3, (6) AB-FUBINACA Met. 2a, (7) AB-PINACA-blood, and (8) AB-PINACA Pentatonic Acid metabolite. As the concentrations decreased, a positive result was not produced. Ultimately, the final conclusions of all the testing was that the One Step Multi-Drug Screen Test Card with the Integrated iCup®/iCup®A.D is not as sensitive when it comes to the synthetic cannabinoids, the primary compound present in marijuana (delta-9-THC), and the active metabolite of marijuana (11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC). In order to gain more accurate results using this presumptive test, the sensitivity of the iCup® for a detection of delta-9-THC and 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC at a lower concentration should be done. By, doing this, an analyst can be more confident when deciding what confirmatory test to use based on what substances are present in a given sample.