TECHNICAL NOTE CRIMINALISTICS
Rapid Separation and Characterization of Cocaine and Cocaine Cutting Agents by Differential Mobility Spectrometry–Mass Spectrometry
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 3, pages 750–756, May 2012
How to Cite
Hall, A. B., Coy, S. L., Nazarov, E. G. and Vouros, P. (2012), Rapid Separation and Characterization of Cocaine and Cocaine Cutting Agents by Differential Mobility Spectrometry–Mass Spectrometry. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 750–756. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.02033.x
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
- Received 29 Oct. 2010; and in revised form 15 Mar. 2011; accepted 3 April 2011.
- forensic science;
- forensic chemistry;
- separation science;
- differential mobility spectrometry–mass spectrometry
Abstract: Forensic drug laboratories are inundated with cases requiring time-consuming GC- or LC-based chromatographic separations of submitted samples. High-throughput analytical methods would be of great practical utility within forensic drug analysis. Recently developed ion-mobility-based separation methods combined with mass spectrometry can often be used without chromatography, suppress chemical interferents of similar mass, and operate in seconds. We have evaluated differential mobility spectrometry–mass spectrometry (DMS-MS) for performance on adulterated cocaine mixtures. The DMS interface is only a few centimeters in length, operates in seconds, and can be adapted to any MS system using atmospheric pressure ionization. Drug cutting agents, typical targets such as cocaine, and drug metabolites are rapidly separated by the DMS ion prefilter. Tests demonstrated characterization of complex mixtures, such as isolation of levamisole, an adulterant with alarming side effects, from a 13-component mixture. DMS-MS holds great potential for the analysis of drug samples submitted for forensic analysis.