Fast and Robust Analysis of Drugs of Abuse Using Direct Exposure Probe on the Pegasus HT

Direct exposure probe (DEP) coupled to the Pegasus HT, time-of-flight mass spectrometer, was used for the identification of synthetic cannabinoids in MTN-series compounds.

Crime laboratories are responsible for the timely identification of seized drugs used as evidence in criminal investigations. The objective was to identify drugs of abuse using DEP instead of traditional LC or GC for time-saving and ease-of-use.

Experimental Conditions


The MTN-series of compounds are allegedly blends of JWH-series compounds, but have not been studied as extensively. Very rapidly, it was determined that MTN-767 is most likely a blend of JWH-018 and JWH-081 (Figure 1). True Signal Deconvolution® produced two mass spectra that were compared to the NIST, Wiley, and Cayman library databases and yielded hits with similarity scores greater than 800 out of 1000. This result, as well as the analysis of other MTN compounds, confirmed that MTN-series compounds are blends of JWH compounds, and was accomplished within a few min.

Figure 1: DEP analysis was used for the fast and reliable identification of the unknown components in MTN-767, a recreational synthetic cannabinoid.

Advantages of DEP experiments on LECO's Pegasus HT:

1. Open source design - robust and low maintenance
2. Time-of-flight MS - no mass spectral skewing
3. True Signal Deconvolution® - identify more components
4. Probe installation does not interfere with GC or GC×GC

LECO Corporation
3000 Lakeview Avenue, St. Joseph, MI 49085
tel. (269) 985-5496, fax (269) 982-8977


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