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Agilent working on designer drug research

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Agilent Technologies is collaborating with Florida International University’s department of chemistry and biochemistry and its International Forensics Research Institute to further advance the identification and characterisation of designer drugs.

This work is currently focused on developing and validating new methods for rapid forensic screening and analysis based on advanced chromatography and mass-spectrometry systems for LC-QQQ-MS/MS, LC-QTOF-MS, GC/MS- and GC/MS/MS-based methods. The new methods will expand the capabilities of traditional drug-screening procedures involving immunoassays.

'Since routine immunoassay drug-screening methods are unable to detect most of the hundreds of individual designer drugs that have been identified, we are working with Agilent to develop advanced analytical methods to screen and confirm the presence of such drugs in both ante- and post-mortem specimens,' said Dr Anthony DeCaprio, associate professor and director of the Forensic and Analytical Toxicology facility at Florida International University’s International Forensic Research Institute.

'Recently, we validated a method for the detection and quantification of 32 designer drugs in serum, including 24 phenethylamines, four piperazines, and four tryptamines. In collaboration with Agilent, we will continue to expand our tandem mass-spectral library to approximately 300 designer drugs.'