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Biomed Environ Mass Spectrom. 1986 Oct;13(10):531-4.

Gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric determination of carbon isotope composition in unpurified samples: methamphetamine example.


A gas chromatograph/quadrupole mass spectrometer system, operated in electron impact/selected ion monitoring mode, is used to determine the intensity ratio of the m/z 59 and the m/z 58 ions of the [C3H8N]+ fragment derived from methamphetamine samples synthesized with varying amounts of 13C-labeled methylamine. Crude products are introduced into the gas chromatograph without prior cleanup. The ratios measured were in excellent agreement with those calculated. A change in 0.25% use of 13C-methylamine is sufficient for product differentiation. The feasibility of using isotope labeling and subsequent mass spectrometric isotope ratio measurement as the basis of a compound tracing mechanism is discussed. Specifically, if methamphetamine samples manufactured from legal sources are asked to incorporate distinct 13C compositions, their sources can be traced when samples are diverted into illegal channels. Samples derived from illicit preparations can also be traced if the manufacturers of a precursor (methylamine in this case) incorporate distinct 13C compositions in their products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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