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Extending the capability of forensic electrochemistry to the novel psychoactive substance benzylpiperazine.

Waddell, Stuart; Fernandez, Carlos; Inverarity, Catherine C.; Prabhu, Radhakrishna

Authors

Stuart Waddell

Carlos Fernandez

Catherine C. Inverarity

Radhakrishna Prabhu

Abstract

Benzylpiperazine (BZP) is a novel psychoactive substance that is commonly abused in tablet form as an 'ecstasy-type' drug. Electroanalysis offers genuine potential for field testing of bulk drug samples. This research is the first to investigate the viability of voltammetric analysis of BZP. Initial cyclic voltammetry in 0.1 M KCl showed an oxidative peak at a glassy carbon electrode for BZP at approximately 0.8 V (scan rate 205 mV s-{esc}p1{esc}s). Next an optimised electrode/electrolyte combination (viz. 80:20 W:W glassy carbon beads:nujol and pH 9.5, 40 mM, Britton-Robinson buffer) was developed using K3Fe(CN)6 to test the electrode material. The oxidation of BZP involves two electrons and two protons and a mechanism has been proposed. An anodic stripping square wave voltammetric method was optimised by factorial design with the conditions of deposition: - 0.8 V for 135 s, and stripping: step height 10 mV, amplitude 50 mV and frequency 13 Hz. A limit of detection of 6 uM was achieved. The resolution against 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA) was also verified.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 30, 2017
Journal Sensing and bio-sensing research
Electronic ISSN 2214-4804
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Pages 28-39
Institution Citation WADDELL, S.A., FERNANDEZ, C., INVERARITY, C.C. and PRABHU, R. 2017. Extending the capability of forensic electrochemistry to the novel psychoactive substance benzylpiperazine. Sensing and bio-sensing research [online], 13, pages 28-39. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbsr.2016.12.001
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbsr.2016.12.001
Keywords Voltammetry; Forensic; Controlled drugs; Benzylpiperazine; Ecstasy

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