This application note details a strategy for the successful extraction and analysis of representatives of several different classes of synthetic cathinones from human urine samples for forensic toxicology.
A panel of 10 synthetic cathinone drugs were extracted from urine by mixed-mode SPE, and analyzed by UPLC/MS/MS. The use of Waters MCX μElution plates resulted in excellent recoveries for all analytes while minimizing matrix effects. Furthermore, no evaporation or reconstitution steps were necessary, saving time and eliminating the risk of sample loss by evaporation or adsorption that can accompany such procedures. Separation by UPLC enabled the analysis of all compounds in two minutes with baseline resolution of a critical isobaric pair. Calibration curves were linear from one to 500 ng/mL with limits of quantitation of 1 ng/mL for all compounds. This method enables the rapid and reliable extraction and analysis of this critical class of compounds for forensic toxicology.