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Title: Robust analytical methods for the detection of illicit drugs and their cutting agents
Author: Naqi, Husain A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 403X
Awarding Body: University of Bath
Current Institution: University of Bath
Date of Award: 2019
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Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) are currently a major cause of concern, in particular to drug analysts, health officials and in law enforcement. The dynamic nature of the clandestine synthesis of NPS results in many new analogues, some of them with different chemistry, in addition to the mixing of some NPS analogues in combination with other cutting agents (adulterants). This requires up-to-date robust analytical methods. All of the major classes of NPS were studied in this research project: Synthetic Cannabinoid agonists, cathinones, phenethylamines, arylcyclohexylamines and phenidates. Together this makes a total number of 341 different samples, plus their replicates. The first aim is to develop and implement spectroscopic, spectrometric and chromatographic methods for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of NPS, with a focus on the application of NMR spectroscopy in forensic chemistry. The second aim is to develop a validated quantitative NMR (q-NMR) analysis method to be employed for the quantification of MDMA/NPS mixtures and Synthetic Cannabinoids where a cross-method confirmation of 19F q-NMR analysis was developed together with an analytical platform for the separation and characterization of complex mixtures of Synthetic Cannabinoids. An extensive critical review of the literature relates to areas of illicit drug analysis and forensic chemistry with respect to major current events. Applying 1H q-NMR analysis, an analytical evidence-based connection is revealed for the association of MDMA and other NPS from different night-club venues. The current status of the purity and dose of MDMA in typical tablets is established using the first reported q-NMR method with cross-method confirmation (UHPLC). Complex mixtures of arylcyclohexylamines are discussed with respect to the advantages and disadvantages of each analytical technique applied. High accuracy NMR assignments are reported with impurity profiling of AM-694, ABCHMINACA and PX-1. Additionally, a method is developed for the analysis of molecules vaporised when Synthetic Cannabinoids are smoked.
Supervisor: Husbands, Stephen ; Blagbrough, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available