Analyzing blood serum for opioids, cocaine and metabolites is a routine task in forensic laboratories. The most commonly used methods involve several manual or partly-automated sample preparation steps such as protein precipitation, solid phase extraction, evaporation and derivatization followed by GC/MS or LC/MS determination.

In this study a comprehensively automated method is compared with a validated, partly-automated routine method. Following manual protein precipitation, the automated method relies on a MultiPurpose Sampler (MPS) to perform all remaining sample preparation steps. These include solid phase extraction (SPE), evaporation of the eluate, derivatization and introduction to the GC/MS. Quantitative analysis of close to 170 serum samples, as well as more than 50 samples of other matrices like urine, different tissues and heart blood, was performed using both methods.