Perspectives and challenges associated with the determination of new psychoactive substances in urine and wastewater - A Tutorial
“New psychoactive substances (NPS), often designed as (legal) substitutes to conventional illicit drugs, are constantly emerging in the drug market and being commercialized in different ways and forms. Their use continues to cause public health problems and is therefore of major concern in many countries. Monitoring NPS use, however, is arduous and different sources of information are required to get more insight of the prevalence and diffusion of NPS use. The determination of NPS in pooled urine and wastewater has shown great potential, adding a different and complementary light on this issue. However, it also presents analytical challenges and limitations that must be taken into account such as the complexity of the matrices, the high sensitivity and selectivity required in the analytical methods as a consequence of the low analyte concentrations as well as the rapid transience of NPS on the drug market creating a scenario with constantly moving analytical targets. Analytical investigation of NPS in pooled urine and wastewater is based on liquid chromatography hyphenated to mass spectrometry and can follow different strategies: target, suspect and non-target analysis. This work aims to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different data acquisition workflows and data exploration approaches in mass spectrometry, but also pays attention to new developments such as ion mobility and the use of in-silico prediction tools to improve the identification capabilities in high-complex samples. This tutorial gives an insight into this emerging topic of current concern, and describes the experience gathered within different collaborations and projects supported by key research articles and illustrative practical examples.”
(Citation: Bijlsma, L., Bada, R., Béen, F.M., et al. – Perspectives and challenges associated with the determination of new psychoactive substances in urine and wastewater – A Tutorial – Analytica Chimica Acta (2020) – DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2020.08.058 – (In Press, Corrected Proof))
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