Cocaine is a powerful addictive stimulant, extracted from the leaf of the Erythroxylon Coca bush, which grew primarily in South America (Peru, Bolivia and today the most productive market Colombia). It’s generally sold as a fine, white, crystalline powder in two chemical forms (the water soluble hydrochloride salt and water insoluble cocaine base), cut with inert substances.  Cocaine directly affects a region of the midbrain called Ventral Tegmental Area, causing an accumulation of dopamine resulting in initial euphoria, energy and mental alert.

A quadrupole target analysis, focused on specific molecules, would not detect cross abuse compounds such cocaethylene. The TOF-MS approach, instead, allows the detection of unexpected component. While the analyst is doing target analysis, all the spectra are acquired and recorded at high sensitivity across the mass range.
A library search can identify the target compounds but can also identify molecules that were not “expected“ in this specific sample.
Master GC coupled with Master TOF MS Plus allows the analysis of the drug and its principal metabolite Benzoylecgonine, determined as Bezoylecgonine- TMS (BZE-TMS) after the derivatization with N-Methyl-N-(Trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (MSTFA). This system performs the analysis of Standards with high linearity and repeatability in a very short time, Autopsy Samples in complex Matrix (Serum) and seized product, to identify target and un-target compounds. The Samples were provided by Pharmacological Department of University of Milan.

 


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