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04.03.2024 | Forensic toxicology lab in Verona, Italy, benefits from using Capel-205

March, 2024 – Verona, Italy. The Section of Forensic Medicine of the Department of Diagnostics and Public Health of the University of Verona is actively using Capel-205 capillary electrophoresis (CE) system for the determination of nitrite and nitrate in human blood and urine samples after intoxication.

Capel-205 CE system was purchased by this laboratory for several tasks, and the toxicological analyses of biological samples was one of the most important ones.

In the last decade, the number of reports on nitrite intoxication, both intentional and unintentional, has increased, raising demand for a fast, simple, and accurate method for the direct determination of nitrite and nitrate in blood and urine. However, this analysis is challenging since nitrite in blood is rapidly oxidized into nitrate. The research group of Prof. Franco Tagliaro in this laboratory recently developed an analytical approach which was successfully applied to Lumex Instruments’ Capel-205 CE system. The method was validated and used for the direct determination of nitrite/nitrate in biological fluids, including postmortem blood. Below is a typical example of the electropherogram, representing postmortem blood analysis after a fatal intoxication by nitrite.

CE as a new analytical technology and Capel-205 CE system proved to be very well suited for this challenge. The applied analytical protocol utilizes direct UV-detection of nitrite and nitrate at 214 nm, excluding any interference from chloride-ions, which do not absorb UV light, whereas the highest sensitivity of Capel-205 CE system enables detection of even trace amounts of nitrite.

The developed approach appeared to be so successful that Forensic toxicology lab in Verona has now become de facto the “reference laboratory” in Italy, capable of providing quantitative data on nitrite and nitrate concentrations in biological samples.

Analytical protocol and the main results were recently published by Prof. Tagliaro group in several publications, e.g. in Forensic Science International and Toxicologie Analytique et Clinique.