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Published in: Forensic Toxicology 2/2022

Open Access 21-03-2022 | Review Article

Micro-segmental hair analysis: detailed procedures and applications in forensic toxicology

Authors: Kenji Kuwayama, Hajime Miyaguchi, Tatsuyuki Kanamori, Kenji Tsujikawa, Tadashi Yamamuro, Hiroki Segawa, Yuki Okada, Yuko T. Iwata

Published in: Forensic Toxicology | Issue 2/2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Since the 1980s, the detection sensitivity of mass spectrometers has increased by improving the analysis of drugs in hair. Accordingly, the number of hair strands required for the analysis has decreased. The length of the hair segment used in the analysis has also shortened. In 2016, micro-segmental hair analysis (MSA), which cuts a single hair strand at a 0.4-mm interval corresponding to a hair growth length of approximately one day, was developed. The advantage of MSA is that the analytical results provide powerful evidence of drug use in the investigation of drug-related crimes and detailed information about the mechanism of drug uptake into hair. This review article focuses on the MSA technique and its applications in forensic toxicology.

Methods

Multiple databases, such as SciFinder, PubMed, and Google, were utilized to collect relevant reports referring to MSA and drug analysis in hair. The experiences of our research group on the MSA were also included in this review.

Results

The analytical results provide a detailed drug distribution profile in a hair strand, which is useful for examining the mechanism of drug uptake into hair in detail. Additionally, the analytical method has been used for various scenarios in forensic toxicology, such as the estimation of days of drug consumption and death.

Conclusions

The detailed procedures are summarized so that beginners can use the analytical method in their laboratories. Moreover, some application examples are presented, and the limitations of the current analytical method and future perspectives are described.
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Metadata
Title
Micro-segmental hair analysis: detailed procedures and applications in forensic toxicology
Authors
Kenji Kuwayama
Hajime Miyaguchi
Tatsuyuki Kanamori
Kenji Tsujikawa
Tadashi Yamamuro
Hiroki Segawa
Yuki Okada
Yuko T. Iwata
Publication date
21-03-2022
Publisher
Springer Nature Singapore
Published in
Forensic Toxicology / Issue 2/2022
Print ISSN: 1860-8965
Electronic ISSN: 1860-8973
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11419-022-00619-9

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