To examine the direct effects of steroids on vascular smooth muscle, we have incubated rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells in culture either steroid-free, or with natural and synthetic corticosteroids (RU26988, dexamethasone, corticosterone, 9 alpha-fluorocortisol, aldosterone, deoxycorticosterone) or sex steroids (estradiol, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone). At the end of 24 h, cultures were pulsed with [35S]methionine for 2 h, the cells lysed, and patterns of incorporation of isotope into protein determined by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. Neither estradiol nor 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone altered protein synthetic profiles compared with control (steroid-free) incubations. In contrast, cultures exposed to the six corticosteroids at 10(-7) M showed an identical pattern of response (6 proteins increased, 6 proteins decreased). This response appears to be glucocorticoid specific, since the mineralocorticoids (9 alpha-fluorocortisol, aldosterone, and deoxycorticosterone) did not have any effects over and above those seen with the pure glucocorticoid RU26988. We interpret these data as evidence for a putative glucocorticoid domain of at least 12 proteins in rat vascular smooth muscle cells. In contrast, there appear to be no comparable estrogen-, androgen-, or mineralocorticoid-specific changes in these cells.
Transdermal patches (adhesive patches placed on the skin) may also be used to deliver a steady dose through the skin and into the bloodstream. Testosterone-containing creams and gels that are applied daily to the skin are also available, but absorption is inefficient (roughly 10%, varying between individuals) and these treatments tend to be more expensive. Individuals who are especially physically active and/or bathe often may not be good candidates, since the medication can be washed off and may take up to six hours to be fully absorbed. There is also the risk that an intimate partner or child may come in contact with the application site and inadvertently dose himself or herself; children and women are highly sensitive to testosterone and can suffer unintended masculinization and health effects, even from small doses. Injection is the most common method used by individuals administering AAS for non-medical purposes. 
Steroid isolation , depending on context, is the isolation of chemical matter required for chemical structure elucidation, derivitzation or degradation chemistry, biological testing, and other research needs (generally milligrams to grams, but often more  or the isolation of "analytical quantities" of the substance of interest (where the focus is on identifying and quantifying the substance (for example, in biological tissue or fluid). The amount isolated depends on the analytical method, but is generally less than one microgram.  [ page needed ] The methods of isolation to achieve the two scales of product are distinct, but include extraction , precipitation, adsorption , chromatography , and crystallization . In both cases, the isolated substance is purified to chemical homogeneity; combined separation and analytical methods, such as LC-MS , are chosen to be "orthogonal"—achieving their separations based on distinct modes of interaction between substance and isolating matrix—to detect a single species in the pure sample. Structure determination refers to the methods to determine the chemical structure of an isolated pure steroid, using an evolving array of chemical and physical methods which have included NMR and small-molecule crystallography .  : 10–19 Methods of analysis overlap both of the above areas, emphasizing analytical methods to determining if a steroid is present in a mixture and determining its quantity.