Determination of stimulants and narcotics as well as their in vitro metabolites by online CE-ESI-MS

Minghua Lu, Qin Li, Yongquan Lai, Lan Zhang, Bin Qiu, Guonan Chen, Zongwei CAI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A simple, rapid and sensitive CE-ESI-MS method for the simultaneous analysis of seven stimulants and narcotics (amphetamine, ephedrine, methadone, pethidine, tetracaine, codeine and heroin) was developed. The CE-ESI-MS experimental conditions were optimized as follows: 20mmol/L ammonium acetate with pH 9.0 as running buffer, the separation voltage of 22kV and the sheath liquid of isopropanol/water (1:1 v/v) containing 7.5mmol/L acetic acid with 3.0μL/min flow rate. Under the optimized conditions, the stimulants and narcotics were well separated within 4.6min using a 70-cm length fused-silica capillary (50μm id). The detection limits (S/N=3) of the CE-ESI-MS analysis were in the range of 0.40-1.0ng/mL. Method repeatability of intra-day and inter-day was satisfactory. The recoveries obtained from the analysis of spiked urine samples were between 84.1 and 108%. The developed method was successfully applied for the simultaneous analysis of methadone, pethidine and codeine and their in vitro metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-478
Number of pages7
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • CE-MS
  • Metabolites
  • Narcotics
  • Stimulants


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