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Extraction of NBOMe designer drugs from oral fluid

Screening of NBOMe Designer Drugs in Oral Fluid

03 December 2014

This application note describes the extraction of a suite of NBOMe designer drugs from oral fluid matrix with analysis by laser diode thermal desorption (LDTD)-MS/MS.


This collaborative work describes an extraction procedure for NBOMe designer drugs, an emerging class of ‘legal highs’ from oral fluid using ISOLUTE® SLE+ columns. The method allows quantitation over a concentration range of 0.5-1000 ng/mL, and was tested blind using a sample set provided by Center for Forensic Science Research and Education. A good match between the spiked sample levels and measured levels was obtained.

ISOLUTE® SLE+ columns proved effective in minimizing matrix effects by producing clean extracts and subsequent LDTD-MS/MS allowed ultra fast high throughput analysis at 9 seconds per sample.

NBOMes are a class of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) marketed as “legal highs.” NBOMes are the N-Benzyl-Oxy-Methyl derivatives of previously known phenethylamines in the 2C series. The 2C series contain methoxy groups on the 2 and 5 positions of a benzene ring of the phenethylamine backbone structure. NBOMes also contain a 2-methoxybenzyl on the nitrogen backbone, which results in increased substitution and ultimately potency. Oral fluid contains primarily the parent compound, which is most commonly associated with the pharmacological effects, making it an ideal matrix for the detection of NBOMe analytes.