e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Forensic electrochemistry: simultaneous voltammetric detection of MDMA and its fatal counterpart "Dr Death" (PMA)

Cumba, LR and Smith, JP and Zuway, KY and Sutcliffe, OB and do Carmoa, DR and Banks, CE (2015) Forensic electrochemistry: simultaneous voltammetric detection of MDMA and its fatal counterpart "Dr Death" (PMA). Analytical Methods, 8. ISSN 1759-9660

[img]
Preview

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (646kB) | Preview

Abstract

The simultaneous detection of substances present in drugs of abuse is increasingly important since some materials are known for their high mortality rate. One drug that received considerable attention is para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), commonly known as ‘Dr Death’ – this substance is linked with several deaths internationally and can often be found together with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in drugs sold under the alias “ecstasy”, a very popular drug of abuse. This work reports for the first time the detection and quantification of MDMA and PMA simultaneously through an electrochemical technique using screen-printed graphite electrodes (SPEs). The electroanalytical sensing of MDMA/PMA, MDMA and PMA are explored directly at bare unmodified SPEs yielding a detection limit (3σ) corresponding to 0.25 μg mL−1/0.14 μg mL−1 for MDMA/PMA, 0.04 μg mL−1 MDMA and 0.03 μg mL−1 PMA. Raman spectroscopy and presumptive colour tests were also performed on MDMA/PMA, MDMA and PMA using the Marquis, Mandelin, Simon's and Robadope tests but were found to not be able discriminate when PMA and MDMA are both present in the same samples. We report a novel electrochemical protocol for the sensing of PMA and MDMA which is independently validated in a synthetic (MDMA/PMA) sample with HPLC.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
90Downloads
77Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item