Special Issues-07-01-2015

The transition of cannabis from an illegal drug to a drug for medical and even recreational use raises challenging questions for regulatory agencies and analytical chemists alike. Here, we show a selection of analytical techniques based on compact mass spectrometry in combination with three different sample inlets (atmospheric solids analysis probe), thin-layer chromatography, as well as classical liquid chromatography) for the detection and quantification of cannabinoids and pesticides in cannabis-related material and contraband.

Because of the wide variety of ways counter drugs have been entering the pharmaceutical supply chain, there is an imminent need for quick and inexpensive methods to identify drug components and quantify active ingredients. Here, we report results illustrating the screening properties of solvent assisted ionization mass spectrometry (SAI-MS) and the quantitative properties of liquid chromatography (LC)-SAI-MS. These methods offer high sensitivity, versatility, and in combination, rapid turnaround time. Suspect samples of fexofenadine hydrochloride and hydroxychloroquine were rapidly screened and compared to their legal counterparts using SAI-MS.

Ionic contaminants in the water used in UHPLC analyses with MS detection method lead to adduct formation and reduced analytical signals because of ion suppression. In MS, the preferred ion type is the protonated molecular ion, especially in peptide analysis, since the partially mobile proton charge enables more meaningful fragmentation analysis, as compared to a sodiated peptide ion.

Beyond the long-established, optical standard techniques of photometry and immunoassay, LC-API-MS-MS has opened new horizons for clinical pathology. This is related to biomedical research and standardization as well as to routine diagnostic testing. It can be expected that the latter field will see important growth, including the introduction of automated MS-based analyzer systems. This will shift the application of mass spectrometric tests from a few specialized laboratories to many standard clinical laboratories with a lower level of analytical expertise.

We present a brief review of this year’s ASMS conference, which took place May 31–June 4, 2015, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Disinfection by-products (DBP) are an ever-present nuisance in the efforts to purify drinking water, wastewater, and municipal waters from various sources. An emerging class of DBP compounds with health effects is nitrosamines which result from chloramination or chlorination if the water is nitrogen-rich. Five of these nitrosamines have been listed on the US EPA’s new Contaminant Candidate List (CCL-3). Of the nitrosamines, the most common and problematic is N-nitrosdimethylamine (NDMA). The maximum admissible levels set by the US EPA are 7 ng/L for NDMA and 2 ng/L for N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA).

A rapid, accurate, and reproducible method was developed for high-throughput testing of nicotine, cotinine, trans-3’-hydroxycotinine, nornicotine, norcotinine, and anabasine in urine. Data show that a fast and highly efficient analysis of these basic compounds can be achieved with the Raptor Biphenyl column using standard reversed-phase LC–MS mobile phases that are compatible with a variety of LC–MS instrumentation.

Click the title above to open the July 2015 issue of Current Trends in Mass Spectrometry, Volume 13, Number 3, in an interactive PDF format.