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Synthesis and characterization of MDMA and development of field-deployable methods for its detection and quantification within Ecstasy tablets

Hussain, Jannat Hena (2019) Synthesis and characterization of MDMA and development of field-deployable methods for its detection and quantification within Ecstasy tablets. Masters thesis (MSc), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The significant rise in NPS use, and particularly the use and misuse of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), has resulted in the need for a rapid, sensitive and field deployable method to facilitate its detection and subsequent quantification. Standards of MDMA and 4-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), a common adulterant encountered in tablets of MDMA, were prepared and characterised by 1H and 13C NMR, IR and mass spectrometry. 25 seized tablets (provided by Greater Manchester Police) were then analysed qualitatively by 1H NMR and GC-MS, with acquisition times of 5 and 8 minutes respectively. All seized samples were found to contain MDMA only. Subsequent quantification, therefore, focused solely on quantifying the amount of MDMA present by primarily using 1H NMR; GC-MS was employed as a complimentary technique in this regard. Quantification by 1H NMR took 5 mins whereas acquiring the same MDMA concentration using GC-MS took 10 mins.

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