Easy on-site fast detection of fentanyl

- Jun 04, 2020-

In April 2020, the team of Professor Ouyang Zheng of Tsinghua University cooperated with the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau's Evidence Evaluation Center, the Ministry of Public Security's Evidence Evaluation Center, and Qingpu Technology Co., Ltd., and published "Rapid and on-site detection of" in "TALANTA". The multiple fentanyl compounds by dual-ion trap miniature mass spectrometry system "has carried out an exploratory study on the rapid on-site detection of fentanyl and its derivatives, which provides the possibility of on-site confirmation of fentanyl samples and routine safety inspections. solution. In this paper, a method based on a dual linear ion trap small mass spectrometer is developed, which, combined with an efficient in-situ sampling method, can quickly analyze fentanyl compounds in a variety of complex matrices (such as object surfaces, biological samples and beverages). In addition, the team has developed a precursor ion scanning method that can quickly and effectively discover and identify non-target fentanyl unknowns.


    In 2019, fentanyl was pushed to the cusp by public opinion. This new drug that has emerged in recent years is extremely effective. In 2017, the United States died of 29,000 people due to the abuse of fentanyl substances, a year-on-year increase of 45%. On the homepage of the White House's official website, the "opioid crisis" ranks most prominently in the first row alongside economy, national security, budget, and immigration.

The export of fentanyl raw materials also affected Sino-US relations to a certain extent. In the end, both parties reached an agreement to jointly resist the proliferation of fentanyl and its derivatives. At present, China has listed 25 kinds of fentanyl and 2 kinds of precursors. From May 1, 2019, it will implement the overall control of fentanyl substances.

As a rapidly developing "new generation drug", fentanyl control methods are facing huge challenges, and rapid detection methods (especially on-site testing) have also become particularly important. From the perspective of drug abuse analysis and control, this is more like A showdown between organic chemists and analytical chemists. The on-site rapid detection solution of "microtube paper spray + small mass spectrometry" can effectively help the regulatory department to quickly screen suspicious fentanyl compounds.

Applied Research 1: Fentanyl hiding in beverage or powder has no place to escape

    In this study, the author used the PCS Cartridge to develop a convenient sampling process suitable for the field. It can directly sample fentanyl compounds in complex matrices, and directly perform mass spectrometry without pretreatment. Detection (as shown below). The dual linear ion trap small mass spectrometer can capture analytes and internal standard ions in the first linear ion trap (LIT) through efficient tandem mass spectrometry (MS / MS) scanning and collision-induced dissociation (beam-type CID) Then, its mass is selectively transferred to the second trap for analysis. This scanning mode can be used for direct quantitative analysis of fentanyl compounds in complex samples. Taking samples in disguised form as an example, the system was used to quickly and accurately analyze fentanyl substances in samples such as cola, beer, milk and powder.

Applied Research 2: Forensic identification of fentanyl in biological samples

   The determination of fentanyl compounds and their metabolites in urine is often used to test drug abuse or forensic identification. For biological inspection materials, "microtube paper spray + small mass spectrometry" also demonstrates its convenient detection process and excellent detection capabilities. This process only needs to drop urine droplets in the kit. After rapid drying, the mass spectrometry system can be directly tested, and the detection limit obtained is as low as 10 ng / mL.

Applied Research 3: Wipe sampling to detect trace fentanyl on the surface of objects

   In the investigation and evidence collection, the rapid extraction and on-site detection of trace physical evidence that may be contaminated on the surface of the object can greatly improve the investigation ability. In this article, the author has developed a sampling method of trace wiping, which can detect 1ng of fentanyl residue on the surface of the plastic bag. This method is also suitable for daily security inspection of mail, luggage, cargo, etc.

Applied Research 4: Precursor ion scan mode for rapid analysis and identification of non-target fentanyl unknowns

   The current detection method is only suitable for targeted detection of targets, but fentanyl substances are constantly being synthesized. According to structural calculations, there may be more than 2000 variants of fentanyl substances. The author has developed a precursor ion scanning monitoring method based on a bilinear ion trap small mass spectrometer, which can quickly and effectively discover and identify non-target fentanyl unknowns.

The bilinear ion trap mini-mass spectrometry technology used in this article was listed on the cover of Analytical Chemistry in 2019.