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Breyonna Morgan

Instrumentation Assignment
November 17, 2017
Instrumentation Assignment

Cocaine, an upper (stimulant), also known as Blow, Snow, Yeo, Devils Dandruff, White

Lady, Crack, Stardust, Waffledust, Cola, Flake, Pearl, is made from the leaves of coca plants.

The conversion of coca leaves to coca paste, cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride occurs

primarily in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. Because cocaine is used exclusively for recreation and

has a high demand due to it being illegal and hard to get, most cocaine bought in the U.S. will

include cutting agents to change or intensify the effects of the drug or to allow dealers to sell less

of the actual cocaine for more money. Common cutting agents include laundry detergent,

laxatives, caffeine, boric acid, local anesthetics like procaine, and creatine. Considering the

amount of cocaine used, how frequent a person uses cocaine, their weight, height, and their

metabolisms speed, a persons elimination process of cocaine may differ.

Main routes of metabolism of cocaine in humans are ester hydrolysis and N-

demethylation. Non-enzymatic loss of the methyl ester gives benzoylecgonine;

enzymatic loss of the benzoyl group in plasma and liver yields ecgonine methyl

ester. Further hydrolysis of both of these compounds gives ecgonine. Norcocaine,

the product of N-demethylation, undergoes similar hydrolysis and is believed to be

pharmacologically active, but it is present in very small proportions. Cocaine is

mostly excreted in metabolized form. The two major metabolites in human urine

are benzoylecgonine and ecgonine methyl ester. Recently, Inaba have shown that

the methyl ester of ecgonine is the major metabolite of cocaine appearing in urine

after oral intake of cocaine. Various studies have reported that the metabolites are

excreted in about equal amounts. Cocaine itself is excreted in very small amounts,
less than 1% of the dose in three days. Ambre have shown that the methyl ester is

also present after intranasal or IV use of cocaine. No large differences in

proportions of metabolites were observed after administration by the three common

routes-intravenous, intranasal, and smoking.

A large cocaine dose stays in a humans system for 3 days. If taken in combination with alcohol,

those 3 days are lengthened to 5 days. During that scenario, the metabolite cocaethylene is

formed. The consumption of water speeds up the elimination process.

Cocaine along with amphetamines, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine are drugs often tested

for in urine drug testing (UDT). Urine is the most commonly tested body fluid used for drug

testing because the collection is non-invasive, more than what is needed for testing can be given,

it is easier to process than other matrices, and it has less of a time restraint when testing most

analytes. The most widely used instrument for confirming the presence/amount of cocaine in

human urine samples is the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) instrument.

Results are quantified and presented in the format depicted in Figure 1.


The limitations of testing can be found in Figure 2.


Mikhail Tsvet used paper chromatography for separating plant pigments which led to the

introduction of gas chromatography. JJ Thomason introduced mass spectrometry in 1897. The

first coupling of gas chromatography to a mass spectrometer was documented in 1959. The gas

chromatography and mass spectroscopy analytical instrument cost around $5,000-$65,000.

Perkin Elmen, Fisher/Gulf, Barber Coleman, Podbelniak, and Pye Unicam are companies that are

used in the manufacturing of gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and gas

chromatography/mass spectrometry instruments.

Mass spectrometry is ideally suited for analyzing pure compounds. However, when

dealing with a mixture that contains several compounds, the compounds must first

be separated from each other and then individually injected into the mass

spectrometer to yield different spectra. This process has been greatly simplified by

the advent of the gas chromatographmass spectrometer (Figure 3), often called

GC mass spec. This powerful diagnostic tool combines a gas Chromatograph

with a mass spectrometer. First, the mixture of compounds is separated in the gas

chromatograph and then each compound is analyzed sequentially by the mass

spectrometer. The gas chromatograph is comprised of a long, narrow tube

containing a viscous, high-boiling liquid on a solid support, called the stationary

phase. The tube is contained in an oven, allowing the temperature to be controlled.

A syringe is used to inject the sample into the gas chromatograph where it is

vaporized, mixed with an inert gas, and then carried through the tube. The various

compounds in the mixture travel through the stationary phase at different rates

based on their boiling points and their affinity for the stationary phase. Each

compound in the mixture generally exhibits a unique retention time, which is the

amount of time required for it to exit from the gas chromatograph. In this way, the

compounds are separated from each other based on their different retention times.

A plot, called a chromatogram, identifies the retention time of each compound in

the mixture. The chromatogram in Figure 4 shows five different compounds exiting

the gas chromatograph at different times. Each of these compounds is then passed

through the mass spectrometer where its molecular weight can be measured.

cocaine https://www.scribd.com/doc/242199218/cocaine (accessed Nov 17, 2017).

Critical Issues in Urinalysis of Abused Substances:Report of the Substance-Abuse Testing

Committee, 1988.

Gas chromatographymass spectrometry

ory (accessed Nov 17, 2017).

Klein, D. R. In Organic chemistry; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, 2017; pp 719720.


University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. A Clinical Guide to Urine Testing, 2008.

What is Cocaine Cut With? Adulterants & Substitutes

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/cocaine-treatment/cut-with/ (accessed Nov 17,