Colorimetric Determination of (Aminoalkyl)indole-containing Synthetic Cannabimimetics

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DURMUS H., Durmazel S., UZER A. , GOKDERE B., Ercag E. , Apak R.

ANALYTICAL SCIENCES, cilt.34, ss.1419-1425, 2018 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 34 Konu: 12
  • Basım Tarihi: 2018
  • Doi Numarası: 10.2116/analsci.18p305
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.1419-1425


Cannabis is an important industrial plant, in addition to its illicit drug use. Compound Delta(9)-THC (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol) is mainly responsible for the hallucinogenic effect on humans. The aminoalkylindole group cannabimimetics targets at the same physiological receptors to mimic the analgesic effects of Delta(9)-THC. Since there is no reliable colorimetric test to detect these synthetic cannabimimetics on site, a simple colorimetric assay for (aminoalkyl)indole group-containing drugs was developed, based on the silica/sulfuric acid-catalyzed Ehrlich reaction of (aminoalkyl)indoles with p-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde. The electrophilic substitution reaction of indoles with carbonyl compounds resulting in the formation of bis(indolyl)alkanes in an acid-catalyzed reaction has been used for the first time for their spectrophotometric determination by color change from yellow to purple/blue. The method was statistically validated against liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and applied to certain (aminoalkyl)indole derivatives, with 0.5 - 2.5 mu g mL(-1) detection limits for AM-2201, JWH-081, MAM-2201, JWH-018, JWH-210, JWH-122, 5F-PB-22 and XLR-11.