Chiral Drug Analysis in Forensic Chemistry: An Overview

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Cláudia Ribeiro ; Cristiana Santos ; Valter Gonçalves ; Ana Ramos ; Carlos Afonso ; Maria Elizabeth Tiritan (2018)
  • Publisher: MDPI AG
  • Journal: Molecules (issn: 1420-3049)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3390/molecules23020262
  • Subject: illicit drugs | chiral drugs | Organic chemistry | QD241-441 | forensic chemistry | enantiomers | pharmaceuticals
    mesheuropmc: heterocyclic compounds | organic chemicals

Many substances of forensic interest are chiral and available either as racemates or pure enantiomers. Application of chiral analysis in biological samples can be useful for the determination of legal or illicit drugs consumption or interpretation of unexpected toxicological effects. Chiral substances can also be found in environmental samples and revealed to be useful for determination of community drug usage (sewage epidemiology), identification of illicit drug manufacturing locations, illegal discharge of sewage and in environmental risk assessment. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the application of chiral analysis in biological and environmental samples and their relevance in the forensic field. Most frequently analytical methods used to quantify the enantiomers are liquid and gas chromatography using both indirect, with enantiomerically pure derivatizing reagents, and direct methods recurring to chiral stationary phases.
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