Browsing by Subject "Time-of-flight mass spectrometry"

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  • Mesihää, Samuel; Ketola, Raimo A.; Pelander, Anna; Rasanen, Ilpo; Ojanpera, Ilkka (2017)
    Gas chromatography coupled to atmospheric pressure chemical ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-APCI-QTOFMS) was evaluated for the identification of new psychoactive substances (NPS). An in-house high mass resolution GC-APCI-QTOFMS test library was developed for 29 nitrogen-containing drugs belonging mostly to synthetic stimulants. The library was based on 12 intra-day measurements of each compound at three different collision energies, 10, 20 and 40 eV. The in-house library mass spectra were compared to mass spectra from a commercial library constructed by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization (LC-ESI) QTOFMS. The reversed library search scores between the in-house GC-APCI library and the commercial LC-ESI library were compared once a week during a 5-week period by using data measured by GC-APCI-QTOFMS. The protonated molecule was found for all drugs in the full scan mode, and the drugs were successfully identified by both libraries in the targeted MS/MS mode. The GC-APCI library score averaged over all collision energies was as high as 94.4/100 with a high repeatability, while the LC-ESI library score was also high (89.7/100) with a repeatability only slightly worse. These results highlight the merits of GC-APCI-QTOFMS in the analysis of NPS even in situations where the reference standards are not immediately available, taking advantage of the accurate mass measurement of the protonated molecule and product ions, and comparison to existing soft-ionization mass spectral libraries.
  • Heikman, Pertti Kalevi; Muhonen, Leea Hellevi; Ojanpera, Ilkka Antero (2017)
    Background: Polydrug abuse is a known problem among opioid-dependent patients receiving opioid maintenance treatment (OMT). However, improved laboratory diagnostics is required to reveal polydrug abuse in its current scope. Furthermore, there are few studies focusing on the relationship between polydrug abuse and adequacy of the dose of OMT medicine. This study aimed to evaluate the polydrug abuse among opioid-dependent patients receiving OMT with inadequate (Group IA) and adequate (Group A) doses of OMT medicine as experienced by the patients. Craving for opioids and withdrawal symptoms were evaluated as indicators of the adequacy rating. Methods: This is a retrospective register-based study of 60 OMT patients on either methadone or sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone medication, whose polydrug abuse was studied from urine samples by means of a comprehensive high-resolution mass spectrometry method. Results: Inadequate doses of the OMT medicines were associated with higher subjective withdrawal scores and craving for opioids. Six groups of abused substances (benzodiazepines, amphetamines, opioids, cannabis, new psychoactive substances, and non-prescribed psychotropic medicines) were found among OMT patients. Group IA patients showed significantly more abuse of benzodiazepines and amphetamines than the Group A patients. All the new psychoactive substances and most of the non-prescribed psychotropic medicines were detected from the Group IA patients. There was no difference in the doses of the OMT medicine between Groups IA and A patients. Conclusions: Polydrug abuse, detected by definitive laboratory methods, was widespread and more common among Group IA than Group A patients, emphasizing the requirement for individual OMT medicine dose adjustment.
  • Heikman, Pertti K; Muhonen, Leea H; Ojanperä, Ilkka A (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Polydrug abuse is a known problem among opioid-dependent patients receiving opioid maintenance treatment (OMT). However, improved laboratory diagnostics is required to reveal polydrug abuse in its current scope. Furthermore, there are few studies focusing on the relationship between polydrug abuse and adequacy of the dose of OMT medicine. This study aimed to evaluate the polydrug abuse among opioid-dependent patients receiving OMT with inadequate (Group IA) and adequate (Group A) doses of OMT medicine as experienced by the patients. Craving for opioids and withdrawal symptoms were evaluated as indicators of the adequacy rating. Methods This is a retrospective register-based study of 60 OMT patients on either methadone or sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone medication, whose polydrug abuse was studied from urine samples by means of a comprehensive high-resolution mass spectrometry method. Results Inadequate doses of the OMT medicines were associated with higher subjective withdrawal scores and craving for opioids. Six groups of abused substances (benzodiazepines, amphetamines, opioids, cannabis, new psychoactive substances, and non-prescribed psychotropic medicines) were found among OMT patients. Group IA patients showed significantly more abuse of benzodiazepines and amphetamines than the Group A patients. All the new psychoactive substances and most of the non-prescribed psychotropic medicines were detected from the Group IA patients. There was no difference in the doses of the OMT medicine between Groups IA and A patients. Conclusions Polydrug abuse, detected by definitive laboratory methods, was widespread and more common among Group IA than Group A patients, emphasizing the requirement for individual OMT medicine dose adjustment.
  • Mesihää, Samuel; Rasanen, Ilpo; Ojanperä, Ilkka (2020)
    Purity assessment of seized material containing new psychoactive substances (NPS) is complicated without appropriate primary reference standards. Here we present a method for fast quantitative estimation of stimulant-type NPS with use of secondary reference standards, based on gas chromatography nitrogen chemiluminescence detection coupled with atmospheric pressure chemical ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-NCD-APCI-QTOFMS). Quantification was based on the detector’s N-equimolar response to nitrogen and using two external nitrogen-containing calibrators, MDMA for prim- and sec- amines and α-PVP for tert- amines. Sample preparation involved dissolving the seized powdery material in an organic solvent mixture followed by acylation with N-methyl-bis-trifluoroacetamide (MBTFA). The method’s between-day accuracy and precision over a five-day period was measured for twenty-eight stimulants: the grand mean equimolarity was 91.9% (CV 5.5%), as compared with primary reference standards. The GC-NCD-APCI-QTOFMS method was applied to the purity estimation of forty-two seized powder samples previously found to contain stimulant-type NPS by appropriate methods. The quantitative results were compared to those obtained by an established method relying on liquid chromatography chemiluminescence detection (LC-CLND), the latter using caffeine as an external calibrator. The mean difference of purity values between the methods was 8.1% (range 0.4 - 26.7%). The presented method might find use as a tool for instant purity assessment in forensic laboratories.
  • Mesihaa, Samuel; Rasanen, Ilpo; Ojanpera, Ilkka (2018)
    Gas chromatography (GC) hyphenated with nitrogen chemiluminescence detection (NCD) and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (QTOFMS) was applied for the first time to the quantitative analysis of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in urine, based on the N-equimolar response of NCD. A method was developed and validated to estimate the concentrations of three metabolites of the common stimulant NPS alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (alpha-PVP) in spiked urine samples, simulating an analysis having no authentic reference standards for the metabolites and using the parent drug instead for quantitative calibration. The metabolites studied were OH-alpha-PVP (M1), 2 ''-oxo-alpha-PVP (M3), and N,N-bis-dealkyl-PVP (2-amino-1-phenylpentan-1-one; M5). Sample preparation involved liquid-liquid extraction with a mixture of ethyl acetate and butyl chloride at a basic pH and subsequent silylation of the sec-hydroxyl and prim-amino groups of M1 and M5, respectively. Simultaneous compound identification was based on the accurate masses of the protonated molecules for each compound by QTOFMS following atmospheric pressure chemical ionization. The accuracy of quantification of the parent-calibrated NCD method was compared with that of the corresponding parent-calibrated QTOFMS method, as well as with a reference QTOFMS method calibrated with the authentic reference standards. The NCD method produced an equally good accuracy to the reference method for alpha-PVP, M3 and M5, while a higher negative bias (25%) was obtained for M1, best explainable by recovery and stability issues. The performance of the parent-calibrated QTOFMS method was inferior to the reference method with an especially high negative bias (60%) for M1. The NCD method enabled better quantitative precision than the QTOFMS methods To evaluate the novel approach in casework, twenty post-mortem urine samples previously found positive for alpha-PVP were analyzed by the parent calibrated NCD method and the reference QTOFMS method. The highest difference in the quantitative results between the two methods was only 33%, and the NCD method's precision as the coefficient of variation was better than 13%. The limit of quantification for the NCD method was approximately 0.25 mg/mL in urine, which generally allowed the analysis of alpha-PVP and the main metabolite M1. However, the sensitivity was not sufficient for the low concentrations of M3 and M5. Consequently, while having potential for instant analysis of NPS and metabolites in moderate concentrations without reference standards, the NCD method should be further developed for improved sensitivity to be more generally applicable. (c) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Ojanpera, Ilkka; Mesihää, Samuel; Rasanen, Ilpo; Pelander, Anna; Ketola, Raimo A. (2016)
    A novel platform is introduced for simultaneous identification and quantification of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in blood matrix, without the necessity of using authentic reference standards. The instrumentation consisted of gas chromatography (GC) coupled to nitrogen chemiluminescence detection (NCD) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (APCI-QTOFMS). In this concept, the GC flow is divided in appropriate proportions between NCD for single-calibrant quantification, utilizing the detector's equimolar response to nitrogen, and QTOFMS for accurate mass-based identification. The principle was proven by analyzing five NPS, bupropion, desoxypipradrol (2-DPMP), mephedrone, methylone, and naphyrone, in sheep blood. The samples were spiked with the analytes post-extraction to avoid recovery considerations at this point. All the NPS studies produced a protonated molecule in APCI resulting in predictable fragmentation with high mass accuracy. The N-equimolarity of quantification by NCD was investigated by using external calibration with the secondary standard caffeine at five concentration levels between 0.17 and 1.7 mg/L in blood matrix as five replicates. The equimolarity was on average 98.7 %, and the range of individual equimolarity determinations was 76.7-130.1 %. The current analysis platform affords a promising approach to instant simultaneous qualitative and quantitative analysis of drugs in the absence of authentic reference standards, not only in forensic and clinical toxicology but also in other bioanalytical applications.
  • Kriikku, Pirkko; Pelander, Anna; Rasanen, Ilpo; Ojanperä, Ilkka (2019)
    U-47,700 is a synthetic opioid that emerged on the novel psychoactive substance market a few years ago. After incorporating the substance into the urine UPLC-TOF-MS screening used in post-mortem toxicology, the drug was detected in 10 autopsy cases within routine case work. In all cases, the cause of death was accidental poisoning by U-47,700 alone or in combination with other psychoactive substances. The concentration of U-47,700 in the blood samples ranged between 0.15-2.0 mg/L with a median of 0.30 mg/L. In one of the cases with a U-47,700 concentration of 0.27 mg/L, no other psychoactive substances were detected. The stored TOF-MS analytical data from the year preceding the incorporation of U-47,700 into the screening was reprocessed in order to search for more positive cases. The data-independent acquisition of the original screening allowed for retrospective re-analysis of the full-scan data without additional experiments on the actual sample. The retrospective data-analysis revealed two additional cases positive for U-47,700. The first mention of U-47,700 on a Finnish internet discussion forum was in March 2015. After having been detected in several death cases, the drug was put under national control in November 2016 and the last fatality occurred in 2017. The toxic lifespan of U-47,700 thus lasted for approximately 2 years in Finland. Forensic and clinical laboratories need to rapidly adjust their screening procedures in order to adapt to the continuously expanding field of novel psychoactive substances. Retrospective data-analysis is a practical tool for monitoring the emergence of new substances onto the market. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.