= Emerging. More than 5 years before clinical availability. (26.55%)
= Expected to be clinically available in 1 to 4 years. (39.66%)
= Clinically available now. (33.79%)
MSACL 2020 US : Gill

MSACL 2020 US Abstract

Topic: Tox / TDM / Endocrine

Podium Presentation in Room 1 on Wednesday at 9:20 (Chair: Stephen Roper / Scott Borden)

HarmCheck: Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry (PS-MS) for Harm Reduction Drug Checking and its Utility for the Opioid Overdose Crisis

Chris Gill (Presenter)
University of Victoria (AERL-VIU)

Presenter Bio(s): Chris is a Chemistry Professor at Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo, BC) as well as co-director of the Applied Environmental Research Laboratories (AERL). He maintains an active international collaboration network, and has recently moved his laboratories into the new VIU Health and Sciences Centre. The AERL conducts pure & applied research centred on the development of direct MS methods for measurements in complex samples. This has lead to numerous advances for direct environmental, industrial and more recently, bioanalytical measurements. Chris’ current research interests continue to involve the development of direct MS instrumentation and associated applications for direct, real-time chemical measurements, including the development of rapid, on-site drug testing strategies for use in the Opioid crisis.

Authors: Scott A. Borden(1,2), Gregory W. Vandergrift(1,2), Armin Saatchi(1), Jan Palaty(3), Erik T. Krogh(1,2) and Chris G. Gill(1,2,4,5)
(1) Applied Environmental Research Laboratories (AERL), Chemistry Department, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada (2) Chemistry Department, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada (3) LifeLabs, Burnaby, BC, Canada (4) Chemistry Department, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada (5) University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA


INTRODUCTION: Almost 13,000 Canadians have died in the last 3 years from opioid overdoses. Drug checking is a harm reduction service showing promise, where clients (drug users) test their drugs immediately before use, with counselling and health care providers present. Clients provided with drug test data are observed to alter their behaviour, including dose reduction or discarding dangerous substances. Limitations of existing on-site drug testing (immunoassay test strips and FTIR) have resulted in low client uptake of offered drug checking services (~1%). To increase uptake, ideal harm reduction drug checking must be sensitive, quantitative, specific, adaptable, free of sample carryover, fast, field-deployable, and be easy to use and interpret results. Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry (PS-MS) can meet and exceed all these criteria.

OBJECTIVES: Develop and demonstrate PS-MS for rapid, sensitive and quantitative on-site harm reduction illicit drug testing at a Health Canada approved, supervised consumption site (SCS).

METHODS: All experiments used a triple quadrupole PS-MS system (Thermo Scientific VeriSprayTM with FortisTM QqQ). During SCS tests, 1 mg illicit drug was mixed in 1 mL of methanol. Following 100-fold methanol dilution, 10 µL was spotted on a PS-MS sample strip (with pre-spotted internal standards) and dried. Solvent (90/10/0.1 methanol/water/formic acid) and high voltage (4 kV) was applied to the paper strip to initiate extraction and ionization. Targeted drugs (fentanyl analogs, other opioids, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, hallucinogens, etc.) were quantified using MRMs, and a full scan also employed to detect non-targeted drugs. Data analysis and reporting was automated to a ‘one-click’ procedure, generating a simplified, printed report.

RESULTS: A two-day PS-MS pilot test was conducted at the Powell Street Getaway SCS in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver, BC (Aug. 2019). This was the first use of PS-MS for harm reduction drug checking, and part of the Health Canada Drug Checking Technology Challenge. 113 illicit drug samples, provided by clients, were tested using PS-MS, with 61% drug testing service uptake. The predominant drug measured was fentanyl (>75% of samples, [0.44-38%] fentanyl), but other drugs including etizolam, and carcinogenic intermediates (4-ANPP) were also quantified.

CONCLUSION: PS-MS has been demonstrated for on-site, direct and quantitative analysis of illicit street drug components, representing its first global demonstration for harm reduction drug checking services. PS-MS harm reduction drug testing was well received by clients and harm reduction workers. Test results, available in two minutes, were immediately relayed to clients to assist them in making informed drug use decisions. Future applications will involve further simplification to allow for minimally trained operators, with longer-term goals including instrument miniaturization.

For Research Use Only. Not for diagnostic procedures.

Financial Disclosure

GrantsyesThermo Scientific (in kind Instrumentation Loan)
Board Memberno
ExpensesyesThermo Scientific - Travel Expenses to Attend
IP Royaltyno

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