Presumptive analysis of 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) using Desorption Electrospray Ionisation - Mass Spectrometry (DESI-MS)

Natasha Stojanovska, Mark Tahtouh, Tamsin KELLY, Alison Beavis, Shanlin Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

4-Methylmethcathione (4-MMC or mephedrone) is a prevalent drug of abuse globally. 4-MMC is often marketed as bath salts and is readily available over the internet. The need for a rapid universal technique capable of detecting an extensive range of drug compounds has become increasingly important with the continued emergence of novel drug analogues. Desorption electrospray ionisation - mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) is a mass spectrometry technique that allows for the analysis of compounds directly from ambient surfaces, reducing or eliminating the need for sample preparation. Although 4-MMC has gained significant attention in recent years, the application of the DESI-MS technique to the fast presumptive detection and chemical analysis of this analogue has not been presented. In the present study, DESI-MS was applied to the rapid qualitative analysis of 4-MMC. A particularly suitable surface, semi-porous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon) was utilised, as it generated the least variable signal and reproducibility compared to other surfaces (polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)). Selectivity of the technique to the detection of 4-MMC was evaluated by analysing a range of adulterated samples including mixtures containing caffeine, methylamphetamine, cathinone and paracetamol. Specificity based on tandem MS (MS/MS) was also demonstrated by analysing substances with the same molecular formula as 4-MMC. Accuracy (% RE) and precision (% RSD) of the method were found to be within 13% and 38%, respectively; and therefore the quantitative data provided by the DESI-MS method is limited compared to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS; accuracy < 13% and precision < 12%). The results suggest that DESI-MS can greatly aid in the rapid presumptive identification of 4-MMC and other similar novel drug analogues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-423
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Polytetrafluoroethylene
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Methamphetamine
Street Drugs
Polymethyl Methacrylate
Acetaminophen
Caffeine
Baths
Polyvinyl Chloride
Internet
Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
Mass Spectrometry
Salts
mephedrone

Cite this

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title = "Presumptive analysis of 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) using Desorption Electrospray Ionisation - Mass Spectrometry (DESI-MS)",
abstract = "4-Methylmethcathione (4-MMC or mephedrone) is a prevalent drug of abuse globally. 4-MMC is often marketed as bath salts and is readily available over the internet. The need for a rapid universal technique capable of detecting an extensive range of drug compounds has become increasingly important with the continued emergence of novel drug analogues. Desorption electrospray ionisation - mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) is a mass spectrometry technique that allows for the analysis of compounds directly from ambient surfaces, reducing or eliminating the need for sample preparation. Although 4-MMC has gained significant attention in recent years, the application of the DESI-MS technique to the fast presumptive detection and chemical analysis of this analogue has not been presented. In the present study, DESI-MS was applied to the rapid qualitative analysis of 4-MMC. A particularly suitable surface, semi-porous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon) was utilised, as it generated the least variable signal and reproducibility compared to other surfaces (polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)). Selectivity of the technique to the detection of 4-MMC was evaluated by analysing a range of adulterated samples including mixtures containing caffeine, methylamphetamine, cathinone and paracetamol. Specificity based on tandem MS (MS/MS) was also demonstrated by analysing substances with the same molecular formula as 4-MMC. Accuracy ({\%} RE) and precision ({\%} RSD) of the method were found to be within 13{\%} and 38{\%}, respectively; and therefore the quantitative data provided by the DESI-MS method is limited compared to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS; accuracy < 13{\%} and precision < 12{\%}). The results suggest that DESI-MS can greatly aid in the rapid presumptive identification of 4-MMC and other similar novel drug analogues.",
keywords = "4-methylmethcathinone, Desorption electrospray ionisation - mass spectrometry, Mephedrone, cathinones, drug analogues",
author = "Natasha Stojanovska and Mark Tahtouh and Tamsin KELLY and Alison Beavis and Shanlin Fu",
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pages = "411--423",
journal = "Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences",
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Presumptive analysis of 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) using Desorption Electrospray Ionisation - Mass Spectrometry (DESI-MS). / Stojanovska, Natasha; Tahtouh, Mark; KELLY, Tamsin; Beavis, Alison; Fu, Shanlin.

In: Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2014, p. 411-423.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Presumptive analysis of 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) using Desorption Electrospray Ionisation - Mass Spectrometry (DESI-MS)

AU - Stojanovska, Natasha

AU - Tahtouh, Mark

AU - KELLY, Tamsin

AU - Beavis, Alison

AU - Fu, Shanlin

PY - 2014

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N2 - 4-Methylmethcathione (4-MMC or mephedrone) is a prevalent drug of abuse globally. 4-MMC is often marketed as bath salts and is readily available over the internet. The need for a rapid universal technique capable of detecting an extensive range of drug compounds has become increasingly important with the continued emergence of novel drug analogues. Desorption electrospray ionisation - mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) is a mass spectrometry technique that allows for the analysis of compounds directly from ambient surfaces, reducing or eliminating the need for sample preparation. Although 4-MMC has gained significant attention in recent years, the application of the DESI-MS technique to the fast presumptive detection and chemical analysis of this analogue has not been presented. In the present study, DESI-MS was applied to the rapid qualitative analysis of 4-MMC. A particularly suitable surface, semi-porous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon) was utilised, as it generated the least variable signal and reproducibility compared to other surfaces (polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)). Selectivity of the technique to the detection of 4-MMC was evaluated by analysing a range of adulterated samples including mixtures containing caffeine, methylamphetamine, cathinone and paracetamol. Specificity based on tandem MS (MS/MS) was also demonstrated by analysing substances with the same molecular formula as 4-MMC. Accuracy (% RE) and precision (% RSD) of the method were found to be within 13% and 38%, respectively; and therefore the quantitative data provided by the DESI-MS method is limited compared to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS; accuracy < 13% and precision < 12%). The results suggest that DESI-MS can greatly aid in the rapid presumptive identification of 4-MMC and other similar novel drug analogues.

AB - 4-Methylmethcathione (4-MMC or mephedrone) is a prevalent drug of abuse globally. 4-MMC is often marketed as bath salts and is readily available over the internet. The need for a rapid universal technique capable of detecting an extensive range of drug compounds has become increasingly important with the continued emergence of novel drug analogues. Desorption electrospray ionisation - mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) is a mass spectrometry technique that allows for the analysis of compounds directly from ambient surfaces, reducing or eliminating the need for sample preparation. Although 4-MMC has gained significant attention in recent years, the application of the DESI-MS technique to the fast presumptive detection and chemical analysis of this analogue has not been presented. In the present study, DESI-MS was applied to the rapid qualitative analysis of 4-MMC. A particularly suitable surface, semi-porous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon) was utilised, as it generated the least variable signal and reproducibility compared to other surfaces (polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)). Selectivity of the technique to the detection of 4-MMC was evaluated by analysing a range of adulterated samples including mixtures containing caffeine, methylamphetamine, cathinone and paracetamol. Specificity based on tandem MS (MS/MS) was also demonstrated by analysing substances with the same molecular formula as 4-MMC. Accuracy (% RE) and precision (% RSD) of the method were found to be within 13% and 38%, respectively; and therefore the quantitative data provided by the DESI-MS method is limited compared to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS; accuracy < 13% and precision < 12%). The results suggest that DESI-MS can greatly aid in the rapid presumptive identification of 4-MMC and other similar novel drug analogues.

KW - 4-methylmethcathinone

KW - Desorption electrospray ionisation - mass spectrometry

KW - Mephedrone

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