Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)

Date of Last Revision

2020-05-07 11:30:46


Chemistry - Biochemistry

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2020


This method developed in the toxicology department at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office (CCMEO) detects 40 benzodiazepines and metabolites along with several z-drugs in blood and urine by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. A sample amount of 0.5 mL was used to detect analytes in postmortem drug facilitated sexual assault and impaired driving cases. Twenty-nine analytes met criteria for quantification while the remaining 14 were used as qualitative indicators. Bias and precision results for quality controls met criteria, staying within ±15% except for clonazolam and etizolam which were within ±20%. Quantitative reporting criteria which included dilution integrity was met for 25 analytes. Isomeric pairs, meclonazepam and methylclonazepam along with a-hydroxyalprazolam and 4-hydroxyalprazolam, were separated and showed sufficient recovery. Urine and blood samples were analyzed together with matrix effects >25% and no effect on validation data. The method has been in use at CCMEO for several months and has be utilized in over 200 samples. In the future, more analytes may be added and reference materials for qualitative analytes will be obtained to enable quantification.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Chrys Wesdemiotis

First Reader

Dr. Leah Shriver

Second Reader

Szabolcs Sofalvi

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Claire Tessier



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