Whether it be for a job interview or medical diagnosis, most of us have found ourselves in the vulnerable position of peeing into a cup. And though it may feel invasive or embarrassing, urine tests are remarkably helpful to doctors, courts, and hiring managers alike.
Besides, urine tests aren’t going away anytime soon. Despite an increasingly popular shift in attitude against workplace drug testing—most notably enhanced by rising legalization of marijuana—employers everywhere can still take “whatever action they deem prudent,” according to Mountain States Employers Council attorney Curtis Graves in a CNN Money article.
In addition to informing job candidacy, urinalysis also plays a role in addiction detection and management. While cannabis eases its way into mainstream acceptance, the alarming increase of opioid overdoses in the United States confirms that the need for urine testing is alive and well.
You might wonder what happens to your urine post-submission. Who is looking at it, and what are they trying to find? But before any of that, why urine?
“For laboratory analysts, determining the best testing and sample preparation methods is essential,” Sample Preparation Brand Manager Jenny Cybulski said, explaining that urine is the favored sample matrix due to its accessibility and accuracy. Before LC/MS analysis, however, it must undergo significant sample preparation.
In the body, drug compounds undergo a glucuronidation reaction prior to excretion that must be cleaved—or separated—before mass spectrometry analysis. β-glucuronidase is used for an enzymatic hydrolysis to separate the bonds but remains in the sample, which can cause premature column death.
To remove the β-glucuronidase from their sample matrix, scientists usually employ a method popularly known as “dilute-and-shoot,” which dilutes the sample before injecting it onto the column. While reducing the concentration of enzyme that they inject onto their column, they also reduce the concentration of the analyte, which can cause issues with sensitivity.
Other sample preparation techniques offer advantages against dilute-and-shoot to remove β-glucuronidase, like a lower dilution factor, but the usual hang-ups like decreased sensitivity and longer run-time remain.
Now, Cybulski says, a new alternative is making waves.
• β-Gone β-Glucuronidase Removal FAQs
• β-Gone β-Glucuronidase Removal Products
• Beta-Glucuronidase Removal (Technical Note)
• Beta-Glucuronidase Removal from Hydrolyzed Pain Management Urine Samples
• Removal of Beta-Glucuronidase Enzyme from Urine Post-Hydrolysis by Protein Precipitation
• Validation of an Automated Method to Remove Beta-Glucuronidase from Hydrolyzed Pain Management Urine Sample