Popovic, A, Morelato, M, Roux, C & Beavis, A 2019, 'Review of the most common chemometric techniques in illicit drug profiling.', Forensic science international, vol. 302.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The information generated through drug profiling can be used to infer a common source between one or several seizures as well as drug trafficking routes to provide insights into drug markets. Although well established, it is time-consuming and ineffective to compare all drug profiles manually. In recent years, there has been a push to automate processes to enable a more efficient comparison of illicit drug specimens. Various chemometric methods have been employed to compare and interpret forensic case data promptly. The intelligence that is produced can be used by decision-makers to disrupt or reduce the impact of illicit drug markets. This review highlights the most common chemometric techniques used in drug profiling and more specifically, the most efficient comparison metrics and pattern recognition techniques outlined in the literature.
Popovic, A, McBriar, T, He, P & Beavis, A 2017, 'Chiral determination and assay of optical isomers in clandestine drug laboratory samples using LC-MSMS', Analytical Methods, vol. 9, no. 22, pp. 3380-3387.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017. Many illicit drugs produced in clandestine laboratories exist as optical isomers, and due to their differing pharmacological properties, it is necessary to determine their respective amounts in a sample. Furthermore, the chemical signature of a clandestine laboratory sample could yield information about possible synthetic routes and product origin. The aim of this study was to optimise a method for the chiral resolution of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and subsequently validate a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS) method for their simultaneous identification and quantification. This study used a CHIROBIOTIC V2 column, which contains interactive chiral additives, to successfully resolve the ATS enantiomers. The correlation coefficients (r2) acquired through the optimised method were determined to range from 0.9956 to 0.9989. Recovery was evaluated at two different concentrations and found to be between 78% and 102%. The method was proved to be fit for purpose as the repeatability and intermediate precision values were found to be below 2.40% and 5.18%, respectively. Five clandestine laboratory samples were analysed using the validated method and found to predominantly contain dextromethylamphetamine in concentrations ranging from 39.7 ppm to 5880 ppm. Dextroamphetamine was also identified in much smaller concentrations.