Analysis of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine via Thin Layer Chromatography Coupled to Easy Ambient Sonic-Spray Ionization Mass Spectrometry


Cocaine and crack cocaine are usually seized with a great diversity of adulterants, such as benzocaine, lidocaine, caffeine, and procaine. The forensic identification of cocaine in these drug mixtures is normally performed using colorimetric testing kits, but these tests may suffer from interferences providing false-positive or false-negatives. In this work, we describe the use of thin layer chromatography coupled to easy sonic-spray ambient ionization mass spectrometry (TLC/EASI-MS) for rapid and secure analysis of cocaine and crack cocaine. Fifteen cocaine samples were analyzed, and all of them revealed positive TLC/EASI-MS results for cocaine, but other drugs and adulterants were also detected such as lidocaine, caffeine, benzocaine, lactose, benzoylecgonine, and ecgonidine. False positives and false negatives, as judged by the TLC Rf values, were identified via on-spot characterization by EASI-MS. The TLC/EASI-MS combination seems therefore to provide an appropriate technique for secure forensic investigations of illicit drugs.

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B. Sabino, W. Romão, M. Sodré, D. Correa, D. Pinto, F. Alonso and M. Eberlin, "Analysis of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine via Thin Layer Chromatography Coupled to Easy Ambient Sonic-Spray Ionization Mass Spectrometry," American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 2 No. 6, 2011, pp. 658-664. doi: 10.4236/ajac.2011.26075.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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