Rapid detection and quantitation of drugs-of-abuse by wooden-tip electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

Tsz Tsun Ng, Pui Kin So, Bin Hu, Zhong Ping Yao (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Determination of drugs-of-abuse in body fluids of drug abusers is important for the law enforcement as well as the treatment and rehabilitation. In this study, wooden-tip electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (WT-ESI-MS), a simple and cost-effective technique, was developed for rapid detection and quantitation of common drugs-of-abuse, including methamphetamine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), cocaine, heroin and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in urine and oral fluid, following our previous successful demonstration for rapid and sensitive detection of ketamine and nor-ketamine in urine and oral fluid by this technique. It was found that the limit-of-detection for methamphetamine could fully fulfill the cut-off value requirements of the international standards, and those of MDMA and cocaine could fulfill some of the requirements. The linear range, accuracy and precision for quantitation of the drugs were generally satisfactory, except for THC for which the analytical performance still needs to be improved. Analysis of one sample could typically be completed within minutes. These results indicated that WT-ESI-MS could be used for rapid screening of drugs-of-abuse in urine, oral fluid as well as other body fluids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-438
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Food and Drug Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Body fluid
  • Drugs-of-abuse
  • ESI-MS
  • Quantitation
  • Wooden tips

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pharmacology

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