Chiral and stable isotope analysis of synthetic cathinones

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Tai, Sherlock ; Morrison, Calum (2017)

In the past decade synthetic cathinones have appeared in drug markets worldwide. Chiral analysis can provide information on relative enantiomeric abundances of synthetic cathinones in their drug products, potentially giving a signature of these products and hence linking the products or excluding them from possible sources. Additionally, due to natural variations of relative stable isotopic abundances of elements, stable isotope analysis of synthetic cathinone drug products provides the stable isotopic signature of the products and hence also has potential to provide additional information for the purpose of drug intelligence. Therefore, both molecular (chirality) and physicochemical (relative stable isotopic abundances) properties are important for forensic chemists to investigate. Chiral and isotope ratio mass spectrometric analysis are becoming increasingly important to forensic chemists and therefore this review will focus on an overview of these techniques applied to the synthetic cathinones.
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