Detection and characterization of emerging psychoactive substances by ion mobility spectrometry

Sergio Armenta, Salvador Garrigues, Miguel de la Guardia, Judit Brassier, Manel Alcalà, Marcelo Blanco, Clara Perez-Alfonso, Nieves Galipienso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Rapid detection and identification of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) continues to present significant analytical challenges to forensic and analytical chemists. Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) has been traditionally considered as the analytical technique of choice to detect illicit drugs in security points in airports, borderlines and customs. Databases of the reduced mobility (K0) values of illicit drugs are available in the scientific literature and they should be completed with data of emerging designer drugs. In this paper, we have evaluated the effect of different measurement conditions and determined the K0 values of an important number of NPS including different families; such as phenethylamines, cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids and tryptamines among others to be incorporated to the existing data to provide a rapid detection and identification of this emerging threat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-289
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Amphetamine derivatives
  • Cathinones
  • Designer drugs
  • Ion mobility spectrometry
  • Synthetic cannabinoids
  • Tryptamines


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