Enhancement of microcrystalline identification of gamma-hydroxybutyrate

Baron, Mark and Elie, Mathieu (2008) Enhancement of microcrystalline identification of gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Journal of Forensic Science, 53 (1). pp. 147-150. ISSN 0022-1198

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00620.x

Abstract

An enhancement of the microcrystalline test for the detection of c-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is described. The original test used a silver
⁄ copper reagent which consisted of 0.1 g of silver nitrate and 0.1 g of copper nitrate in 10 mL water. The enhanced test utilizes lanthanum nitrate
in place of copper nitrate. A detection limit of 0.5 mg ⁄mL was achieved and the visual discrimination was improved because of larger sized crystals.
Transient crystals were observed between 0.1 and 0.4 mg ⁄ mL. Silver nitrate alone appeared to be suitable for GHB detection but was not specific as
other hydroxyl acids, such as glycolic acid, produced a similar crystal pattern. Tests conducted on chemical precursors of GHB and substances with
similar biological activity highlight the specificity of the enhanced test. The reagent is therefore selective and sensitive for GHB in aqueous solutions.
However, in beverage testing, crystal formation appeared to be inhibited for some drinks. Citric acid was identified as a possible interference depending
on its concentration relative to GHB.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:An enhancement of the microcrystalline test for the detection of c-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is described. The original test used a silver ⁄ copper reagent which consisted of 0.1 g of silver nitrate and 0.1 g of copper nitrate in 10 mL water. The enhanced test utilizes lanthanum nitrate in place of copper nitrate. A detection limit of 0.5 mg ⁄mL was achieved and the visual discrimination was improved because of larger sized crystals. Transient crystals were observed between 0.1 and 0.4 mg ⁄ mL. Silver nitrate alone appeared to be suitable for GHB detection but was not specific as other hydroxyl acids, such as glycolic acid, produced a similar crystal pattern. Tests conducted on chemical precursors of GHB and substances with similar biological activity highlight the specificity of the enhanced test. The reagent is therefore selective and sensitive for GHB in aqueous solutions. However, in beverage testing, crystal formation appeared to be inhibited for some drinks. Citric acid was identified as a possible interference depending on its concentration relative to GHB.
Keywords:forensic science, gamma-hydroxybutyrate, microcrystalline test, date rape drug, silver nitrate, lanthanum nitrate
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F100 Chemistry
F Physical Sciences > F180 Analytical Chemistry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:3029
Deposited By: Mark Baron
Deposited On:23 Jul 2010 14:37
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:43

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