Analytical Chemistry, Toxicology and Pharmacology
The team of experts in pharmacology, toxicology and vitaminology conduct assays on metal toxicity, analyse urinary stones, and examine hereditary metabolic syndromes (amino acids and organic acids).
- Vitaminology – Analysis of urinary stones – Study of metabolic syndromes
- Toxicology – Occupational Health – Metal toxicity assays
Vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B8, B9, B12, C, 25OH D, A and E, K) are often assayed by HPLC or UPLC to detect deficiencies or overloads.
According to the HAS (Haute Autorité de Santé; French National Authority for Health), their levels should be monitored in patients after surgery, especially digestive surgery (such as bariatric surgery), and in those suffering from certain pathologies (cystic fibrosis, neuropathies), in order to detect, treat and avoid deficiencies. These assays usually include zinc, and occasionally copper, selenium or iodine. In addition, vitamins are prescribed for the treatment of several metabolic disorders, and their levels may need to be monitored as well.
The morpho-constitutional analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of urinary stones identify and quantify the different components, and this biological assessment is used by clinicians to elucidate the aetiology.
Several metabolic syndromes are investigated and monitored using ion exchange chromatography for amino acids, gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for organic acids, as well as HPLC and colorimetry for porphyria. The Wilson disease is screened and monitored using a combination of copper assays in plasma and urinary by ICP-MS and the immunochemical analysis of ceruloplasmin. All these techniques, HPLC, UPLC, GC MS, LC MSMS, ICP MS, the analysis of urinary stones and the investigation of metabolic syndromes, require specialised technicians who become qualified after a long training period.
Eurofins Biomnis performs assays on several metals (lead, aluminium, selenium, copper, and zinc) in blood, plasma and urine samples using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Occupational medicine accounts for a large number of requests, but most cases are related to potential toxicity levels in dialysed patients, markers of oxidative stress, or urinary markers of exposure to organic solvents (hippuric acid for toluene exposure, trans acid and trans-muconic acid for benzene exposure).
The different drugs (cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine and opiates) and their metabolites are also identified and assayed in plasma by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Our pathologists are members of the SFTA (Société Française de Toxicologie Analytique; French Society of Analytical Toxicology).
Numerous medications present a narrow therapeutic window or highly variable inter- or intra-individual serum concentrations, which requires a dosage adjustment. These assays are designed to verify the therapeutic efficacy and/or investigate a possible toxicity.
The pharmacology team assays numerous molecules (neuroleptic, antiepileptic, anti-tuberculosis and immunosuppressive drugs, and benzodiazepines) by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), or ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), which is currently considered the reference method in toxicology, pharmacology, and endocrinology. In fact, this approach combines the high sensitivity and specificity of the mass detector with the high resolution of liquid chromatography. The application of LC/MS-MS to the field of pharmacology allows us to assay active ingredients and their metabolites, with the active ones contributing to the pharmacological effect and the toxicity.