High Resolution Orbitrap MS for Detecting New Psychoactive Drugs,
A User’s Perspective

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Duration: Approximately 35 minutes

Marta Concheiro, Ph.D.
Marta ConcheiroJohn Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Marta Concheiro is Assistant Professor of Forensic Toxicology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Currently her research is focused on the study of alternative matrices in forensic and clinical toxicology (oral fluid, hair, umbilical cord) and in the investigation of novel psychoactive substances.


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The emergence of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) is an ongoing challenge for forensic toxicologists. Different analogs are continuously introduced in the market to circumvent legislation and to enhance their pharmacological activity.

At the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Dr. Concheiro has developed two analytical methods for the determination of new psychoactive stimulants in urine by liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry with Orbitrap technology.

One method identified and quantified 28 synthetic cathinones by targeted-MSMS experiments. In the second method, 8 piperazines, 4 designer amphetamines and 28 synthetic cathinones and 4 metabolites were analyzed in full scan and data dependent MS2 mode. Both methods were sensitive (limit of quantification 0.5-5 ng/mL) and specific, fully validated and applied to authentic cases. 

By viewing this presentation you will learn about...

  • the emergence and need for identifying an ever increasing number of NPS & designer drugs
  • two methods, targeted screening & ddMS2, to identify & quantify NPS & designer drugs using Orbitrap HRAM MS
  • targeted and unknown drug screening tools and methods
  • applications of high-resolution accurate-mass MS (HRAM MS) for identifying drugs of abuse                                          

This presentation is suitable for...

Forensic toxicologists, scientists and directors at forensic institutes/health care/ sports doping labs, law enforcement personnel who are interested in learning about the latest advances in identifying NPS or designer drug testing for:

  • addressing the rapid introduction of NPS and designer drugs
  • versatile methods for routine forensic drug screening, and identifying unknown drugs
  • use of Orbitrap HRAM MS in forensic toxicology casework involving various drugs of abuse

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