Artificial oral fluid characterisation: Potential for use as a reference matrix in drug testing

Ivana Gavrilović*, Alessandro Musenga, David Cowan, Alison Woffendin, Andrew Smart, Fan Gong, Duncan Harding, Kim Wolff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Quality assurance schemes for drug-screening programmes require access to large quantities of biological matrices for reference or control samples. This presents problems when the availability of a matrix, such as oral fluid (OF) for screening or for confirmatory purposes, limits the collection of large volumes. In such cases, synthetic alternatives of OF may provide a solution. The preparation of an artificial (synthetic) oral fluid (AOF) was conducted by dissolving its components (salts, surfactant, antimicrobial agent and mucin) in water. We characterised the physical properties of AOF to determine its suitability as a matrix for quality assurance purposes. The evaluation of pH, specific gravity (SG), conductivity (mS cm−1), freezing point depression (°C), light-scattering and kinematic viscosity (mm2 s−1) showed AOF to be a stable, reliable matrix. Synthetic OF was prepared using components (mucin, surfactants and so on) obtained from different suppliers and a comparison was performed. Our results suggest that AOF is a feasible matrix for the preparation of quality assurance samples for confirmatory or drug screening programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalDrug Testing And Analysis
Issue number3
Early online date18 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Oct 2020


  • AOF
  • drug screening
  • quality assurance samples
  • reference matrix

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