Detection of cocaine and its metabolites in urine using solid phase extraction-ion mobility spectrometry with alternating least squares.Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Aug 10; 189(1-3):54-9.FS
A reliable, alternative screening method for detection of cocaine and its metabolites, benzoylecgonine and cocaethylene in urine is demonstrated using solid phase extraction (SPE) coupled with ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). Data analysis with alternating least squares (ALS) is used to model IMS spectral datasets and separate the reactant ion peak from the product ion peaks. IMS has been used as a screening device for drug and explosive detection for many years. It has the advantages of atmospheric pressure operation, simple sample preparation, portability, fast analysis, and high sensitivity when compared to similar methods. Coupling SPE with IMS decreases the detection limits of drug metabolites in urine while removing salts and other polar compounds that suppress ionization during the measurement. The IMS analysis time in this experiment is 20s, much shorter than traditional chromatographic analysis. The application of ALS further increases the sensitivity and selectivity of this method. The detection limits of benzoylecgonine and cocaethylene are 10 ng/mL and 4 ng/mL, respectively. Commercial adulteration of urine specimens does not influence the ability to detect cocaine metabolites after sampling the urine with SPE. This method provides forensic chemists a viable approach for fast and simple drug screening.