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Bull Narc. 1985 Jan-Mar;37(1):35-47.

An evaluation of TLC systems for opiate analysis.


The authors selected 38 thin-layer-chromatography (TLC) systems described in the available literature published over the last 10 years and evaluated those systems with respect to their suitability for detection and identification of opiates in urine, opium and heroin, as well as adulterants in heroin. A total of 14 substances: 8 opiates (morphine, 6-monoacetylmorphine, diacetylmorphine, codeine, acetylcodeine, noscapine, papaverine and thebaine) and 6 adulterants (ephedrine, quinine, methadone, caffeine, cocaine and strychnine) were used as test samples for this research. Using laboratory-coated plates and pre-coated plates, 15 and 13 TLC systems, respectively, were found to be able to detect and identify morphine and codeine in urine without interference from the remaining 12 substances. For the detection of opiates in opium samples as well as opiates and adulterants in illicit heroin samples the TLC system: chloroform-n-hexane-triethylamine (9:9:4) which was developed by the National Drug Research Centre, Penang, Malaysia, was found to be most suitable on both laboratory-coated and pre-coated plates. In addition, the following two systems, one on laboratory-coated plates--hexane-chloroform-diethylamine (50:30:7)--and the other on pre-coated plates--benzene-dioxane-ethanol-ammonia (50:40:5:5; T-7)--were also found to be among most suitable TLC systems for the analysis of opiates in opium samples. The article also presents the relative cost of each of the 38 evaluated TLC systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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