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Metabolism and Analysis of Desomorphine

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $46,008)

As submitted by the applicant: Desomorphine, sometimes referred to as "Krokodil", is a semi-synthetic opioid that has drawn widespread attention. It has no accepted medical use and is a schedule I drug in the United States. Desomorphine is an emerging drug of abuse and its use presents a number of challenges to forensic laboratories. Metabolism of the drug is not well understood and there is a need for analytical methodology that is capable of identifying the drug and its metabolites in biological evidence. As a powerful narcotic analgesic, the ability to detect desomorphine or its metabolites could be of utmost importance in human performance and death investigation (postmortem) toxicology. This study will evaluate phase I and phase II metabolites of desomorphine using human liver microsomes and structurally identify the metabolites using high resolution mass spectrometry. Deconjugation and extraction methodology will be developed, investigated and optimized to facilitate detection of the drug and its metabolites in blood and urine. This will be undertaken using three analytical platforms including gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and high resolution mass spectrometry (LC/QTOF). Although GC/MS is still the most widely used technique, LC/MS/MS and high resolution mass spectrometry is gaining popularity, particularly for challenging compounds. The purpose of the study is to improve understanding of desomorphine metabolism and provide laboratories with analytical tools that can be used for detection purposes. All methodology will be scientifically validated in accordance with recognized standards and laboratory accreditation requirements. The new methodology will be used to identify desomorphine and its metabolites in authentic samples from previously tested or adjudicated casework. It is anticipated that this project will produce between four and five publishable papers in peer reviewed scientific journals. The project will take place over a period of 36 months. Instrument and scientific data will be stored electronically and protected from unauthorized access in accordance with institutional policies. This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 17, 2015