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The application of portable microchip electrophoresis for the screening and comparative analysis of synthetic cathinone seizures

Abstract

Variation in the chemical composition of illicit tablets and powders is common among samples within a given drug seizure. Using microchip electrophoresis (ME), multiple tablets can be screened in a cost-effective and timely manner. This method could be used in conjunction with reporting methods that focus solely on statistical sampling to infer homogeneity or otherwise of a larger subset of tablets. Some frequently observed synthetic cathinones, often present in illicit tablets seized in New Zealand, were chosen for analysis. An ME device (Agilent Bioanalyzer 2100) was used to electrophoretically separate synthetic cathinones. The background electrolyte was composed of a 50mM sodium tetraborate buffer with 50mM sodium dodecyl sulphate at pH 9.66. Analytes were derivatised prior to analysis for 3min at 90

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