Ion mobility derived collision cross section as an additional measure to support the rapid analysis of abused drugs and toxic compounds using electrospray ion mobility time-of-flight mass spectrometry
Despite recent advances in analytical techniques, high-throughput and rapid screening of abused drugs and toxic compounds is imperative. In this study, a method hyphenating ion mobility spectrometry with high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (IM-TOF MS) was developed to measure commonly abused drugs and toxic compounds. IM spectrometry allows the measurement of the collision cross section (CCS) value while TOF MS provides the measurement of accurate mass. A total of 124 abused drugs and toxic compounds were evaluated. As a result, the experimental precision of the experimental CCS values was 0.25% or better and not affected by the processed matrices (∣ΔCCS∣blood ≤ 0.77% and ∣ΔCCS∣urine ≤ 0.93%). The experimental mass error was lower than 5 ppm. The screening limit of detection (LOD) was below 400 ng mL−1 for 93% of the test compounds in urine and 90% in blood. Finally, the method was applied to real samples from a local forensic laboratory and methamphetamine was identified successfully. It was demonstrated that IM-TOF MS was a promising approach for rapid screening of abused compounds and would increase the detection throughout.