This study involved the quantitative determination of fentanyl in heroin and cocaine using SERS, using a point-and-shoot handheld Raman system.
Recently there has been upsurge in reports that illicit seizures of cocaine and heroin have been adulterated with fentanyl. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) provides a useful alternative to current screening procedures that permits detection of trace levels of fentanyl in mixtures. Samples are solubilized and allowed to interact with aggregated colloidal nanostars to produce a rapid and sensitive assay. The protocol of the current study was optimized to detect pure fentanyl down to 0.20 ± 0.06 ng/mL and also distinguish pure cocaine and heroin at ng/mL levels. Multiplex analysis of mixtures was enabled by combining SERS detection with principal component analysis and super partial least squares regression discriminate analysis (SPLS-DA), which enables the determination of fentanyl as low as 0.05 percent in simulated seized heroin and 0.10 percent in simulated seized cocaine samples. (publisher abstract modified)
810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, DC 20531, United States