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Designer Amphetamines in Forensic Toxicology: Analysis and Prevalence

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $226,550)

This project seeks to develop screening and confirmatory methods for new, emerging 'designer' amphetamines, using the most widely used technologies in forensic toxicological laboratories today, specifically enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The cross-reactivity of antibodies used in commercial immunoassays for methamphetamine will be examined to determine whether existing commercial immunoassays are effective screening tools for emerging designer drugs. Extraction protocols and chemical derivatives will be considered in order to develop a confirmatory analysis using GC/MS, taking into consideration existing resources that do not place an undue burden on the laboratory or require extensive familiarization. The resulting procedures will be scientifically validated according to established procedures and accreditation requirements. Such validated procedures, using commonly used technologies and methodologies, will assist in reducing case backlog in the area of forensic toxicology. Finally, prevalence of these drugs in actual forensic toxicology casework samples will be investigated.


Date Created: September 15, 2008