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Issue 42, 2016
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Direct quantitative analysis of cocaine by thin layer chromatography plus a mobile phone and multivariate calibration: a cost-effective and rapid method

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Abstract

The detection and quantification of trace amounts of illicit substances such as crack-cocaine continues to be important for law enforcement and clinical medicine. Conventional methods available for crack-cocaine and adulterant detection include chromatography and presumptive testing. Here, we report a simple and inexpensive approach that employs a cell phone which images of thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plates were acquired to directly quantify cocaine and phenacetin in illicit samples seized in Brazil from 2012. Integration of a mobile application with a cell phone enabled immediate processing of TLC results, which eliminated the need for a bulky and expensive spectrometer. Partial least squares (PLS) regression was built using the RGB image system from the TLC plates containing cocaine (0.50 to 16.00 mg mL−1) and phenacetin (0.00 to 14.00 mg mL−1) as adulterants, acquired from a cell phone camera. The RMSEP values obtained for cocaine and phenacetin models were, respectively, equal to 1.60 and 1.36 mg mL−1, and their precision was respectively equal to 6.22 and 7.14%. No statistical difference was observed at a confidence level of 95% for both analytes calculated by the proposed method and those found by the reference method using gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC-FID), proving the reliability of the imaging method as an alternative approach for these assays.

Graphical abstract: Direct quantitative analysis of cocaine by thin layer chromatography plus a mobile phone and multivariate calibration: a cost-effective and rapid method

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Jul 2016, accepted on 21 Sep 2016 and first published on 22 Sep 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6AY02126C
Citation: Anal. Methods, 2016,8, 7632-7637
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    Direct quantitative analysis of cocaine by thin layer chromatography plus a mobile phone and multivariate calibration: a cost-effective and rapid method

    F. Tosato, T. R. Rosa, C. L. M. Morais, A. O. Maldaner, R. S. Ortiz, P. R. Filgueiras, K. M. Gomes Lima and W. Romão, Anal. Methods, 2016, 8, 7632
    DOI: 10.1039/C6AY02126C

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