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Benchtop NMR analysis of piperazine-based drugs hyperpolarised by SABRE.

Tennant, Thomas and Hulme, Matthew C and Robertson, Thomas BR and Sutcliffe, Oliver B and Mewis, Ryan E (2020) Benchtop NMR analysis of piperazine-based drugs hyperpolarised by SABRE. Magnetic resonance in chemistry : MRC. ISSN 0749-1581


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Piperazine-based drugs, such as N-benzylpiperazine (BZP), became attractive in the 2000s due to possessing effects similar to amphetamines. Herein, BZP, in addition to its pyridyl analogues, 2-, 3- and 4-pyridylmethylpiperidine (2-PMP, 3-PMP and 4-PMP respectively) were subjected to the hyperpolarisation technique SABRE (Signal Amplification By Reversible Exchange) in order to demonstrate the use of this technique to detect these piperazine-based drugs. Although BZP was not hyperpolarised via SABRE, 2-PMP, 3-PMP and 4-PMP were, with the ortho- and meta-pyridyl protons of 4-PMP showing the largest enhancement of 313-fold and 267-fold respectively in a 1.4 T detection field, following polarisation transfer at earth's magnetic field. In addition to the freebase, 4-PMP.3HCl was also appraised by SABRE and was found not to polarise, however, the addition of increasing equivalents of triethylamine (TEA) produced the freebase, with a maximum enhancement observed upon the addition of three equivalents of TEA. Further addition of TEA led to a reduction in the observed enhancement. SABRE was also employed to polarise 4-PMP.3HCl (ca. 20% w/w) in a simulated tablet to demonstrate the forensic application of the technique (138-fold enhancement for the ortho-pyridyl protons). The amount of 4-PMP.3HCl present in the simulated tablet was quantified via NMR using D2 O as a solvent and compared well to complimentary GC-MS data. Exchanging D2 O for CD3 OD as the solvent utilised for analysis resulted in a significantly lower amount of 4-PMP.3HCl being determined, thus highlighting safeguarding issues linked to drug abuse in relation to determining the amount of active pharmaceutical ingredient present.

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