Nevin Manimala Statistics

First liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry method for the determination of cocaine on banknote dust

Forensic Toxicol. 2022 Jul;40(2):357-365. doi: 10.1007/s11419-022-00627-9. Epub 2022 May 10.


PURPOSE: Prevalence measures of sociological interest concerning cocaine presence on banknotes are fraught with (i) the extreme variability of its concentration (seven orders of magnitude); (ii) the high number of banknotes needed for the statistical significance. Banknote dust from counting machines from a large and representative number of banknotes in circulation in a specific area represents the most eligible sample to ascertain cocaine circulation. No chromatographic method is available in this respect. This study aims at developing the first analytical methodology for the determination of cocaine in banknote dust samples.

METHODS: This novel and straightforward approach consists of a simple methanol extraction followed by analytical determinations via ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry.

RESULTS: Satisfactory analytical performance was obtained with a coefficient of determination of 0.996; maximum within-run and between-run precisions were, respectively, 1.85% and 5.20%. Limits of detection and quantification were, respectively, 3 and 9 ng/mL with an overall process efficiency of 93.2%. The method developed was successfully applied to 9 banknote dust samples from local banknote counter machines. The found concentrations ranged from 2.18E + 02 to 2.31E + 03 μg of cocaine per gram of banknote dust and varied only one order of magnitude, much less than cocaine concentration on banknotes.

CONCLUSIONS: To have an idea of cocaine circulation in a geographical area, the sampling of banknote dust, compared to banknotes, consists of tremendous advantages in terms of statistical significance, higher cocaine concentrations, and lower variability: this is crucial from the sociological point of view.

PMID:36454419 | DOI:10.1007/s11419-022-00627-9

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