Wednesday, December 27, 2023

High resolution ion mobility can distinguish and help identify fentanyls!


I'm clearly on a deadline on vacation, because I'm about to justify why I just read 2 papers on ion mobility isolation of fentanyls. 

Thanks Google scholar alerts for the first one - wait. Does that say February 2024? I missed a grant deadline if that's accurate! 

Nope! Still 2023 where I'm at! 

Over 100,000 people died due to overdose in 2022 in the US alone! And, according to the authors, 68% were due to fentanyl.... there is a bridge I have make a right turn under in Baltimore and since I got here 20 years ago, it hasn't been a nice place. A few years ago when we first started hearing about fentanyls it got way less nice. According to the newspaper these things are linked. 

Fun fact - basically none of the colorimetric assays used on-site by law enforcement people can detect fentanyls....and these aren't just one compound. They're a mess of different things. Detecting them is a priority. 

While most of proteomics is fiddling around with ion mobility systems with resolutions of like 5-20 (FAIMS) or TIMS (resolution about 200) people on the small molecule side are doing a whole lot more with this tech. 

Oh yeah! I actually read this one a while back but this team isn't even using chromatography! They're using flow injection, then high resolution IMS then Q-TOF! 

 And in this paper, they saw that they could separate fentanyls into different ion mobility peaks and in the study at the top they cleaned up their parent compounds by IMS, then fragmented them to show where they differ. They went back and used a heavy standard to back it up. 

Makes me think we aren't using our toys to the best of their relative abilities, to be sure. And since I'm absolutely sure I'll be "randomly selected" for the little ion mobility bomb sniffing thing at Dulles next week (408/408) it makes me hopeful that we're talking about deployable technology to detect these things! 

Okay...and...oh yeah...I do have deadlines! 

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