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Lab-on-a-chip screening of methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine in samples from clandestine laboratories

Abstract

The clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine in New Zealand predominantly involves the reduction of pseudoephedrine, extracted from pharmaceutical preparations, using hydrogen iodide. This method of illicit manufacture leaves a variety of materials at the scene that are a rich source of information. Efficient processing and preliminary identification of extraction and reaction mixtures, precursors and products is essential to minimise exposure to potential hazardous materials and to provide investigative and intelligence information. In this study, we employed a portable lab-on-a-chip instrument for the rapid and cost effective screening of methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine and ephedrine in a variety of sample types found in typical clandestine laboratory scenarios.

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