In this study, a rapid liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method has been developed and validated for the targeted analysis of 98 New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) from the hair matrix. The monitored compounds included various chemical classes (7 phenethylamines, 10 tryptamines, 18 cathinones, 24 synthetic opioids, and 38 synthetic cannabinoids) with emphasis given to newly emerged NPS. The method employed a direct extraction process through the incubation of hair samples (25 mg) and internal standards with M3® reagent at 100 °C for 60 min, followed by extract purification through acid and basic liquid-liquid micro-extraction (LLME). Extracted compounds were analyzed through LC-MS/MS system operating in multiple reaction monitoring mode. NPS were separated in 9.5 min with a Poroshell 120 EC-C18 column (2.7 μm, 4.6 × 50 mm) using a gradient eluting mobile phase composed of water and acetonitrile/water (95:5) both containing 0.1 % of formic acid. The developed and validated method shows a good precision (≤ 15 %), linearity (R between 0.993 and 0.999), selectivity, and sensitivity (LOD: 0.6-10.3 pg mg and LOQ: 2.1-34.4 pg mg). The method showed also reduced matrix effect and acceptable recovery for most of the targeted compounds. Our results showed that this method is suitable for quantifying NPS in hair matrix and could be employed in the context of routine analyses in analytical laboratories.
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