Determination of New Psychoactive Substances in Whole Blood Using Microwave Fast Derivatization and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry.J Anal Toxicol. 2020 Jan 07; 44(1):92-102.JA
The production and consumption of new psychoactive substances (NPSs) has been raising a major concern worldwide. Due to easy access and available information, many NPSs continue to be synthesized with an alarming increase of those available to purchase, despite all the control efforts created. A new analytical method was developed and validated to determine a group of phenethylamines and synthetic cathinones: cathinone, flephedrone, buphedrone, 4-MTA, α-PVP, methylone, 2C-P, ethylone, pentylone, MDPV and bromo-dragonFLY in whole blood. A mixed-mode solid phase extraction was applied to 250 μL of sample, and the extracts were derivatized with fast microwave technique before being analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The validation procedure followed the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology (SWGTOX) guidelines with parameters that included selectivity, linearity, limits of detection and quantification, intra- and inter-day precision and accuracy, recoveries and stability. The method presented linearity between 5 and 500 ng/mL for cathinone, buphedrone, 4-MTA, methylone, 2C-P and bromo-dragonFLY, 10-500 ng/mL for flephedrone, ethylone, pentylone and MDPV, and 40-500 ng/mL for α-PVP, with determination coefficients above 0.99 for all analytes. Recoveries ranged between 70.3% and 116.6%, and regarding intra- and inter-day precision, the relative mean errors were typically lower than 8.6%. The method was successfully applied to over 100 authentic samples from the Laboratory of Chemistry and Forensic Toxicology, Centre Branch, of the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, Portugal.