The Analysis of Recreational Drugs in Biological Specimens Using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry
Lucas, N. (2008). The Analysis of Recreational Drugs in Biological Specimens Using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2471
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2471
In the last few years, the prevalence of legal party pills in New Zealand has risen dramatically. These pills contain new piperazine designer drugs, two of the more common being 1-benzylpiperazine (BZP) and m-trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (TFMPP). This thesis describes an optimised LC-MS/MS method for the detection of BZP and TFMPP in whole blood, using an automated solid phase extraction (SPE) for sample clean-up. The method was validated on three different days using five replicate samples each day. The standard curve was linear from 7 - 7000 ng/mL for BZP and 10 - 10,000 ng/mL for TFMPP, with coefficients of variation (CV) below 10%, and accuracy greater than 90% for both drugs. The method was used to quantitate samples provided by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand. Blood levels were used to show concentrations in the blood over time, and relate these to performance of subjects on a driving simulator. The study was stopped after 41% of the participants who received BZP and TFMPP had adverse reactions to the pills, including vomiting and migraines. The LC-MS/MS method was also used to detect and quantitate methamphetamine, amphetamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine, methylenedioxyamphetamine, morphine, codeine and 6-monoacetylmorphine in hair. The drugs were extracted from 20 mg of hair using hydrochloric acid in a water bath overnight, then purified using SPE. Validation on three days with five replicate samples gave coefficients of variation (CV) below 12% and acceptable accuracy for all drugs. The method was tested on three samples, previously reported by Environmental Science and Research (ESR) using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) giving results in good agreement. This thesis describes a sensitive, accurate, reproducible LC-MS/MS method easily adapted to analyse drugs of abuse in different biological matrices. It demonstrates the versatility of LC-MS/MS and its applications in forensic work.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses