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New anti drug technology:a drop of sewage detects the trace of drug hiding

According to the”report on the form of China’s drug situation in 2021″, in 2021, China’s drug control departments continued to intensify efforts to crack down on drugs, and the overall good situation of the national drug situation continued to be consolidated and expanded, showing a”double reduction” in the number of overseas drug imports and domestic drug production, a”double reduction” in the domestic drug supply and circulation, and the problem of drug smuggling and trafficking and the loss of drug products was curbed, The scale of drug abuse and drug-related criminal cases have been declining for many years. At the same time, affected by the changes in the century and the epidemic in the century, the global drug production remained high, the online drug trade became more active, the number of drug abusers continued to rise, the external environment facing China’s drug control struggle became more complex, and new situations and new changes occurred in the domestic drug situation.

Drug abuse not only brings serious harm to drug addicts themselves and their families, but also induces a series of illegal and criminal activities such as theft, robbery and deception. The long-term abuse of synthetic drugs can also easily lead to mental diseases, which can lead to accidents such as self injury and self mutilation, violent injury to others,”drug driving”, and bring hidden risks to public safety.In this context, the instrument information network is specially established“Technical application progress of mass spectrometry in drug analysis”, focus on the latest application of mass spectrometry technology in the field of drug detection, so as to enhance the information exchange between mass spectrometry experts and technicians in the industry and workers in relevant judicial and public security institutions, and provide instrument users with richer mass spectrometry products and technical solutions in the field of drug analysis. This article specially invites Shimadzu company to talk about a series of product technologies and solutions related to sewage toxicity testing.

After drugs are metabolized by human body, their metabolites and prototypes will be discharged into domestic sewage with urine and feces. The consumption of drugs will be deduced by measuring the concentration of toxic substances in untreated domestic sewage. This technology comes from sewage epidemiology and is a new and important technical means to understand the regional toxicity. By accurately measuring the concentration of drugs and their metabolites in untreated domestic sewage, and applying the corresponding mathematical model calculation, the measured drug concentration (ng/l) can be calculated as the number of certain types of drugs taken by drug addicts in the area (unit:g/1000 people/day).

In 2005, Italy used sewage analysis technology for the first time to assess domestic cocaine consumption. Since then, more laboratories and drug monitoring institutions have applied sewage analysis technology to drug situation assessment in different countries and cities. The monitored drugs include heroin, amphetamine drugs, ketamine, cocaine, marijuana, etc. Sewage analysis technology has been valued and supported by the United Nations Office on drugs and crime (UNODC), the European Union EMCDDA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other institutions. China has not only used this technology to monitor the drug abuse situation in large and medium-sized cities on a large scale and comprehensively evaluate the drug abuse situation in cities, but also successfully used this technology to accurately crack down on the illegal acts of drug production and drug abuse.

Sewage drug detection mainly faces two technical difficulties:

1. The concentration of target analyte is very low. Drugs and their metabolites are discharged into the domestic sewage pipe network through human metabolism, and diffuse and dilute with the flow of water. In addition, the metabolic rate of compounds and the adsorption and degradation of compounds in the sewage pipe network exist. Therefore, the concentration of drugs and their metabolites in domestic sewage samples is very low, generally at the level of ng/l.

2. The matrix is complex. The pollutants contained in domestic sewage are mainly organic substances and a large number of microorganisms. Surfactants, therapeutic drugs and microbial metabolites in organic substances will interfere with mass spectrometry detection and affect the sensitivity of target analytes.

Accurate determination of the concentration of toxic substances in sewage is an important prerequisite for the role of sewage drug detection technology, so reliable detection methods are very important. At present, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry is the preferred technical means for the analysis of trace organic compounds. It has the advantages of fast, high efficiency and high sensitivity. Its multi reaction monitoring mode (MRM) can effectively avoid the false positive phenomenon caused by matrix interference. Because the final concentration of most drugs and metabolites in sewage is very low, lc-ms/ms technology cannot be used for direct analysis and detection. Therefore, the sewage sample must undergo the pre-treatment process of enrichment and impurity removal before it can be tested on the machine. Solid phase extraction (SPE) technology is the pretreatment method for drug detection in sewage, which is the most reported in the literature at present. Offline SPE technology is widely used because of its rich types and diverse specifications of solid phase extraction column fillers. However, the pretreatment process of this technology is complex, time-consuming and laborious, which not only uses a large amount of samples, but also easily causes experimental errors.

In recent years, on-line solid-phase extraction technology is a popular sample pretreatment technology. In many analytical fields, it is increasingly used to replace the traditional off-line solid-phase extraction, especially the analysis of large volume water samples. This technology can not only meet the direct injection analysis of”ml” level samples, but also ensure the enrichment effect of target analytes. At the same time, it also has the characteristics of high degree of automation, less solvent consumption and good stability. Since the required consumables and hardware are based on commercialized products, the method is easy to promote and replicate after it is established.

Shimadzu automatic online extraction system (AOE system for short, patent No.:ZL 201710854264.7) highly integrates sample pretreatment, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography separation, mass spectrometry or spectral detection, data processing, etc., easily realizes automatic analysis, and bid farewell to complicated manual pretreatment.

Shimadzu automatic solid phase extraction analysis system

Patent certificate (Patent No.:ZL 201710854264.7)

Sewage samples can be analyzed on the machine after simple filtration, which can not only greatly reduce the amount of samples, greatly simplify the sample pretreatment process, save the pretreatment time, but also effectively increase the analysis flux, which is efficient and convenient. The analysis efficiency is 80%higher than the traditional offline pre-processing method. It can realize the real-time detection of domestic sewage samples, effectively avoid the degradation of some metabolites with time, and meet the detection needs of intensive sampling and rapid analysis in the future domestic sewage analysis.

Chromatograms of cotinine and 13 drugs, including 1-cotinine (100 ng/L), 2-morphine, 3-Mc, 4-codeine, 5-amphetamine, 6-mda, 7-o6-monoacetylmorphine, 8-methamphetamine, 9-mdma, 10-norketamine, 11 benzoyl alconin, 12 ketamine, 13 cocaine, 14 tetrahydrocannabinoic acid (10 ng/L)

The same sample was analyzed by off-line and on-line solid-phase extraction. Through the comparison of the test results, it was found that the two methods showed good consistency in the detection items and concentration, indicating that the two methods were equivalent in terms of detection ability and detection accuracy. The on-line solid-phase extraction technology can replace the traditional solid-phase extraction analysis method.

Shimadzu AOE system, as the representative of on-line solid phase extraction technology, has the ability of 24h continuous sample preparation – it can be detected immediately after sample preparation, which reduces the loss of principal components caused by the long waiting time for samples to be analyzed by instruments, greatly reduces the labor operation cost of the laboratory, truly realizes the”fast, accurate and stable” analysis and detection of sewage poisoning products, and realizes the”accurate guidance” of anti narcotics!

From the”catch-up management” of”new discovery and management” to the”prevention first and clear the forbidden zone in advance”, Shimadzu has always been committed to solving the cutting-edge drug control problems, leading and promoting the innovative development of drug control science and technology, and striving to provide forward-looking solutions and professional support for customers engaged in forensic toxicology.