A rapid, accurate, precise, reproducible, economical, and environmentally gentle method using capillary electrophoresis (CE) is presented for the routine analysis of methamphetamine, amphetamine, MDA, MDMA, MDEA, and cocaine in seized drugs.
The methodology uses a 32 cm by 50 μm capillary (length to detector 23.5 cm) with a commercially available buffer kit and diode array UV detection. Dynamic coating of the capillary surface is accomplished by flushing with base for 1 min, a proprietary polycation for 1 min, and then a proprietary polyanion for 2 min. This approach provides a relatively high and stable electroosmotic flow (EOF), even at low pHs. The background electrolyte (BGE) contains 75 mM phosphate buffer (pH 2.5) with the same polyanion as above.
Using this methodology, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDA, MDMA, MDEA, and an internal standard (n-butylamphetamine) are baseline resolved in less than 5 min. The run-to-run migration time %RSDs and peak area %RSDs are typically <0.3% and <2.1%, respectively. The day-to-day and capillary-to-capillary migration time %RSDs are <1.5% and <2.1%, respectively. The %RSDs of the relative migration times compared with the internal standard on a day-to-day and capillary-to-capillary basis are <0.2% and <0.06%, respectively. The linear dynamic range using peak areas range from 0.003 to 0.10 mg/mL. The correlation coefficients are >0.9998, with all calibration curves passing at or near the origin. Similar data are obtained for cocaine and its internal standard henyltoloxamine.
None of the compounds usually encountered in illicit samples interfere with the target compound (e.g., methamphetamine and cocaine) or the internal standard. Quantitative results for synthetic mixtures and seized exhibits are in good agreement with actual values, and also with results obtained from other techniques. The relatively high EOF for the dynamically coated capillary system allows for the screening of basic, acidic, and neutral adulterants in drug seizures; identification is facilitated by the use of automated UV library searches.