The Drug Analysis using Solid Phase Extraction of Amphetamine with Different Sorbents

I finally have gotten results from my experiments.  Water and synthetic urine samples w spiked with amphetamine and examined using mass spectrometry (MS).  We tested the instrument in both positive and negative modes to determine which would give a better peak when analyzing the samples.  In the negative mode, no peak was present at 134 indicating it could not be ionized.  There was a peak present at around 91 in the positive mode which indicated a transition from 136.  With this information we decided to run all of our samples using MS. in positive mode.  We tested the two MIP sorbents; each with the two spiked samples of water and synthetic urine.  The four spectra showed a higher peak at around 91 indicating amphetamine was present.  Not only did we compare the effect of different sorbents with SPE, but we also showed how pretreatment using SPE gives better results in drug analysis.  Faster recovery times for pretreatment with MIP 2 could be a more efficient sorbent in crime labs as compared to MIP 1.  The use of SPE as a pretreatment technique concentrates the specific sample in order to achieve a higher peak on the spectra.  Our standard solutions were tested using MS to show the difference in sample analysis without pretreatment.  The peak for amphetamine was barely detected in the synthetic urine samples without using the SPE for pretreatment.  This showed that using a pretreatment techniques to concentrate the sample before preforming instrumental analysis gives a better result and higher recovery of the sample.  Future experiments will be done and these include using methamphetamine along with amphetamines for drug testing, the use of other commercially available sorbents for comparison with the presently used and using a variety of different biological fluids for analysis like blood.

In concluding our research, we have produced a poster presenting our results.  The week of spring break, my fellow research group members and I presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in Dallas, Texas.  This was my first time presenting a poster to an audience, but it was a wonderful experience and I loved doing it.  I learned a lot from attending this conference and met a lot of great people that work in the field of chemistry.  We met the science advisor for the AMC television series “Breaking Bad”, Donna Nelson, she is campaigning to become the head of ACS.  I will be presenting my research in many more conferences this semester.  I will be presenting my research every weekend for the next month.  I will present at the Dyson’s Society of Fellows, the Eastern Colleges Scientific Conferences (ECSC) at Marist College, Wayne Patterson University Undergraduate Research Symposium and ACS URS where I will be doing an oral presentation that will be also presented at the Undergraduate Student – Faculty Research Initiative  showcase day.  It will be a long journey but I am ready for the challenge, and I look forward to gaining more experience.

This program is a great experience.  I have learned a lot not only from doing my research through papers and online, but also in the chemistry labs.  I have learned a lot about the instruments I worked with even though some of them we were unable to get results.  I have become an expert in changing the columns for the HPLC instrument.  The GC-MS was very temperamental in providing us with solid results from different concentrated samples, but I learned how to change some aspects of protocols to better acclimate to the instruments present to us in the labs.  We went to Haskin’s lab to use the mass spec. to help analyze our drug samples when all other instruments have failed.  I feel doing research related to my field of study has broadened my experience and I am considering in pursuing a professional career in forensic research.  Attending conferences has been an amazing gift to share the hard work we have put together to minds to listen and learn.  This would not have been possible without the impeccable Chemistry Department at Pace University.  I would like to thank Dr. Dai, Dr. Yarlett, and Dr. Upmacis in providing some helpful techniques and materials needed to continue my research.  Most of all I would like to thank Dr. Elmer-Rico Mojica! He is not only a professional and a down to earth mentor, but an individual who does what is necessary to help us succeed in everything that we do in the labs and outside of the chemistry department.  He is a wonderful professor, mentor, and friend and without him, this research would not have been impossible.

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