From: McMaster University
Published November 8, 2017 08:13 AM

Chemists develop method to quickly screen, identify fentanyl and other drugs of abuse

Researchers at McMaster University have developed a new drug screening technique that could lead to the rapid and accurate identification of fentanyl, as well as a vast number of other drugs of abuse, which up until now have been difficult to detect by traditional urine tests.

The method, outlined in the current edition of the journal Analytical Chemistry, addresses a serious public health emergency related to opioid addiction and unintentional overdose deaths: the lack of a reliable and inexpensive test that allows for comprehensive surveillance of synthetic drugs flooding the illegal market.

The new method would eliminate a two-stage process currently in use for drug monitoring by allowing technicians to run many tests at once in a high throughput manner — dramatically cutting processing time while improving screening accuracy with quality assurance. Importantly, this mass spectrometric method can also screen for a wider range of drugs of abuse, as well as identify designer drugs that elude conventional tests.

 

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