Novel Selectivity-Based Forensic Toxicological Validation of a Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry Method for the Quantitative Determination of Eight Amphetamines in Whole Blood

  • Sebastiaan F. Teunissen
  • Patrick W. Fedick
  • Bjorn J. A. Berendsen
  • Michel W. F. Nielen
  • Marcos N. Eberlin
  • R. Graham Cooks
  • Arian C. van Asten
Research Article


Paper spray tandem mass spectrometry is used to identify and quantify eight individual amphetamines in whole blood in 1.3 min. The method has been optimized and fully validated according to forensic toxicology guidelines, for the quantification of amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine (MDMA), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA), para-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), para-methoxymethamphetamine (PMMA), and 4-fluoroamphetamine (4-FA). Additionally, a new concept of intrinsic and application-based selectivity is discussed, featuring increased confidence in the power to discriminate the amphetamines from other chemically similar compounds when applying an ambient mass spectrometric method without chromatographic separation. Accuracy was within ±15% and average precision was better than 15%, and better than 20% at the LLOQ. Detection limits between 15 and 50 ng/mL were obtained using only 12 μL of whole blood.

Graphical abstract


Forensic toxicology Amphetamines Whole blood Paper spray mass spectrometry Validation Selectivity 



Karen Yannell is gratefully acknowledged for her scientific input in the method development. The authors thank the Brazilian Science Foundation FAPESP (process No. 2016/01683-2) and the National Science Foundation (NSF CHE-1307264) for financial support.

Supplementary material

13361_2017_1790_MOESM1_ESM.docx (382 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 381 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastiaan F. Teunissen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patrick W. Fedick
    • 2
  • Bjorn J. A. Berendsen
    • 3
  • Michel W. F. Nielen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Marcos N. Eberlin
    • 1
  • R. Graham Cooks
    • 2
  • Arian C. van Asten
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.ThoMSon Mass Spectrometry LaboratoryUniversity of Campinas - UNICAMPCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Center for Analytical InstrumentationPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.RIKILT, Wageningen ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Laboratory of Organic ChemistryWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Netherlands Forensic InstituteThe HagueThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Faculty of Science, Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular SciencesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  7. 7.CLHC, Amsterdam Center for Forensic Science and MedicineAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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