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Simultaneous Separation of Different Types of Amphetamine and Piperazine Designer Drugs by Capillary Electrophoresis with a Chiral Selector

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 50 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2005 Pages: 326-335
Date Published
March 2005
10 pages

Because of the possibility of using a new set of piperazine drugs as amphetamine substitutes, this study optimized a chiral capillary electrophoresis (CE) separation to detect a set of six piperazine and four chiral amphetamine compounds in under 23 minutes.


On September 20, 2002, a new set of piperazine drugs were temporarily placed on the Drug Enforcement Administration's Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Two drugs of abuse, 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP) and 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)-piperazine (TFMPP), will remain on the emergency schedule list until a further ruling can be made regarding their hazards to public safety. Over the last few years, these compounds and related analogs have emerged as "legal" substitutes for the classic amphetamine-type compounds. This paper describes the analysis of these two drugs through chiral CE, which involves the separation of enantiomers by electrophoretic means. The most successful approach to chiral CE has been through the use of chiral selectors, molecules that may preferentially interact with one enantiomer of a chiral compound. This process detected a set of six piperazine and four chiral amphetamine compounds in under 23 minutes by using a 200 mM phosphate buffer at a pH=2.8 with 20mM hydroxypropyl-B-cyclodextrin. In addition to these compounds, a series of "clandestine" BZP diHCL samples were also analyzed using this method to assess the ruggedness of the procedure. The CE separation was tailored to simultaneously detect these piperazine compounds in addition to amphetamine-type drugs. Distinct migration time and UV-spectral data were obtained for all compounds of interest. 4 tables, 9 figures, and 32 references

Date Published: March 1, 2005