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Separation and Identification of Drugs by Electrospray Ionization-Ion Mobility Spectrometry-Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS-MS)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2016
13 pages
This research project demonstrated the use of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) as a lab-based analytical technique capable of performing separations on par with gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC), with the added benefits of speed, potentially lower cost, portability, and the miniaturization of the technique.
The intent of this research was to develop a method for performing rapid and inexpensive analyses of seized drugs commonly encountered by law enforcement, particularly controlled amphetamine substances and the emerging designer drugs that are similar in structure to amphetamine-based substances. Separation of chiral compounds was achieved by using both an off-the-shelf ion mobility unit (the Barringer 400B) and an electrospray ionization ion mobility mass spectrometer (ESI-IMS-MS), which is called the Excellims RA4100. The results from this project suggest that chiral separation by an achiral modifier in the gas phase and the detection and identification of designer drugs are possible using the ESI-IMS-MS with an optimal solvent system. Four peer-reviewed manuscripts were published, and just over 20 oral and poster presentations were delivered at national and international scientific conferences. 5 figures, 3 tables, a listing of four project publications, and 14 references

Date Published: January 1, 2016