Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The analysis and detection of new psychoactive substances in biological matrices
Author: Nisbet, Lorna A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 6611
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
New psychoactive substances (NPSs) have appeared on the recreational drug market at an unprecedented rate in recent years. Many are not new drugs but failed products of the pharmaceutical industry. The speed and variety of drugs entering the market poses a new complex challenge for the forensic toxicology community. The detection of these substances in biological matrices can be difficult as the exact compounds of interest may not be known. Many NPS are sold under the same brand name and therefore users themselves may not know what substances they have ingested. The majority of analytical methods for the detection of NPSs tend to focus on a specific class of compounds rather than a wide variety. In response to this, a robust and sensitive method was developed for the analysis of various NPS by solid phase extraction (SPE) with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). Sample preparation and derivatisation were optimised testing a range of SPE cartridges and derivatising agents, as well as derivatisation incubation time and temperature. The final gas chromatography mass spectrometry method was validated in accordance with SWGTOX 2013 guidelines over a wide concentration range for both blood and urine for 23 and 25 analytes respectively. This included the validation of 8 NBOMe compounds in blood and 10 NBOMe compounds in urine. This GC-MS method was then applied to 8 authentic samples with concentrations compared to those originally identified by NMS laboratories. The rapid influx of NPSs has resulted in the re-analysis of samples and thus, the stability of these substances is crucial information. The stability of mephedrone was investigated, examining the effect that storage temperatures and preservatives had on analyte stability daily for 1 week and then weekly for 10 weeks. Several laboratories identified NPSs use through the cross-reactivity of these substances with existing screening protocols such as ELISA. The application of Immunalysis ketamine, methamphetamine and amphetamine ELISA kits for the detection of NPS was evaluated. The aim of this work was to determine if any cross-reactivity from NPS substances was observed, and to determine whether these existing kits would identify NPS use within biological samples. The cross- reactivity of methoxetamine, 3-MeO-PCE and 3-MeO-PCP for different commercially point of care test (POCT) was also assessed for urine. One of the newest groups of compounds to appear on the NPS market is the NBOMe series. These drugs pose a serious threat to public health due to their high potency, with fatalities already reported in the literature. These compounds are falsely marketed as LSD which increases the chance of adverse effects due to the potency differences between these 2 substances. A liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was validated in accordance with SWGTOX 2013 guidelines for the detection for 25B, 25C and 25I-NBOMe in urine and hair. Long-Evans rats were administered 25B-, 25C- and 25I-NBOMe at doses ranging from 30-300 µg/kg over a period of 10 days. Tail flick tests were then carried out on the rats in order to determine whether any analgesic effects were observed as a result of dosing. Rats were also shaved prior to their first dose and reshaved after the 10-day period. Hair was separated by colour (black and white) and analysed using the validated LC-MS/MS method, assessing the impact hair colour has on the incorporation of these drugs. Urine was collected from the rats, analysed using the validated LC-MS/MS method and screened for potential metabolites using both LC-MS/MS and quadrupole time of flight (QToF) instrumentation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine