Skip to content

SUNTEST CPS+ and its Role in Drug and Doping Studies

Drug Doping Testing using Suntest CPS+ Atlas
Drug Doping Testing

Hair Analysis in Drug and Doping Studies

Hair analysis is a valuable tool in clinical and forensic toxicology to reveal drug or doping abuse and single dose consumption. Studies often stand in the context of crimes, doping controls, or workplace drug testing with a large window from weeks to months for drug detection.

The Effect of Sunlight

Hair is exposed to sunlight and artificial light for many hours per day and this exposure can alter the content of drugs and metabolites in hair. Thus, photostability testing should be considered as a potential confounder in forensic studies that utilize hair. Exposure to sunlight can lead to reduced drug concentrations or even false negative results. On the other hand, the formation of new photodegradation products could lead to the identification of new markers of abuse useful in forensic evaluations.


SUNTEST CPS+ was originally designed as a weathering and lightfastness testing device. However, it can also be used as a solar simulator for drug and doping studies using hair samples. The SUNTEST simulates the complete spectrum of natural sunlight over a wide irradiance range and optical filters adjust the spectrum for either outdoor or indoor conditions. A water-cooled specimen tray is available as an optional accessory and provides appropriate cooling even under high irradiance levels (exceeding natural levels). The high irradiance levels help to keep photostability test durations short, typically around 48 hours.


Atlas thanks the researchers Giorgia Miolo, Luca Menilli, Marianna Tucci and Donata Favretto for their great works at the university of Padova.

More Information

Download a free Application Note on Photostability of Drugs in Hair.

Look at the complete SUNTEST series of weathering and photostability testing devices.