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Recent Advances in Comprehensive Chromatographic Analysis of Emerging Drugs

NCJ Number
Date Published
6 pages
This article discusses the use of emerging technologies that are complementary to established techniques, in order to significantly reduce identified shortcomings for identifying both synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones.
The analysis of seized drugs that contain emerging drugs synthesized to skirt the controlled substances laws is complicated by a large array of similar drugs, including analogues, homologues, positional isomers, and diastereomers. Chromatographic techniques such as gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC), which are commonly used with mass spectrometry (MS) detection, have certain limitationsespecially for positional isomers and diastereomers. The current article discusses the utility of recently reported approaches, including ultrahigh performance supercritical fluid chromatography (UHPSFC)-photodiode array (PDA) ultraviolet (UV)-MS, and GC-vacuum UV. To increase the specificity of analysis, multiple chromatographic techniques are commonly used. For the analysis of emerging drugs, a combination of GC and UHPSFC is recommended. The article also considers the utility of a previously unreported coupled-columns approach for UHPSFC to significantly enhance resolution of synthetic cathinones. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018