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Detecting 'bath salts' designer drug
Date:10/18/2011

and plant feeder. Mephedrone and the related BKAs are still relatively new, so few clinical, pharmacological or toxicological studies have been reported.

These drugs are easily identified in seized drug materials. The SHSU Regional Crime Laboratory (RCL), operated by the Criminal Justice Center, routinely receives items of evidence containing these drugs. Detection in toxicological (biological) evidence is far more challenging. Toxicologists are struggling to develop methodology to detect these drugs (and their metabolites) in biological specimens. Even less is understood with respect to the interpretation of results, and this has real consequences in terms of criminal casework and death investigation.

In order for these drugs to be studied and understood, analytical methodology will be developed for routine use. In the study, solid phase extraction (SPE) will be used to isolate the beta-keto amphetamines from biological matrices. Chromatographic and spectroscopic methods will be developed for instrumental analysis of the biological extracts. Chemical derivatization will be used to develop extracts that are amenable to common instrumental techniques that are used in a crime laboratory, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).

The study, which will be conducted by MSFS student Kayla Ellefsen and Dr. Sarah Kerrigan at RCL, is an example of the MSFS student capstone experience, whereby students must successfully complete an intensive one-year research project with a faculty member. During the final phase of the study, the optimized procedure will be validated for use in actual casework at the lab.


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Contact: Beth Kuhles
kuhles@sbcglobal.net
936-294-4425
Sam Houston State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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