Background: Today, “drugs of abuse” pose serious social problems such as many crimes,
medical treatment costs, and economic repercussions. Several worldwide clinical laboratories use analytical
separation methods to analyze their patient samples for drugs and poisons. In this way, they
provide qualitative and quantitative data on the substances in various biological matrices (e.g., urine,
plasma or serum, saliva, and breath).
Methods: An extensive review of the published articles indicates that the use of Capillary Electrophoresis
(CE) coupled with sensitivity enhancing methods is a very attractive area of interest in the
assay of drugs of abuse.
Results: This review was prepared to have a comprehensive study on applications of sensitivity enhancing
methods on the determination of drugs of abuse especially from 2007 to present. The sample
preconcentration approaches almost address all methods from online preconcentration (both electrophoretic
and chromatographic-based methods) to offline preconcentration. Furthermore, detection
system modification and capillary column fabrications were investigated in order to increase the detection
sensitivity of complex samples in CE.
Conclusion: The present review summarizes the most recent developments in the detection of drugs
of abuse using CE. Although CE still has a limitation in sensitive detection, several publications in
recent years have proposed valuable methods to overcome this problem.