Release date 2016/12/16 10:25:30 Update date 2019/05/20 16:11:37

Chemical Analysis Laboratory

The chemical analysis laboratory, also named Laboratory on Drug Abuse, Bureau of Investigation, Ministry of Justice, is the first drug analysis laboratory accredited in respect of ISO/IEC 17025 in Taiwan. The chemical analysis laboratory is responsible for criminal evidence identifications via chemical analysis. The major professional works of this laboratory comprise drug analysis, clandestine lab analysis, drug metabolite analysis and protected wildlife product analysis. All of scheduled I drug seizures and part of the other scheduled drugs have to be sent to this laboratory and there are more than 6,000 cases analyzed each year.

I. Drug Analysis

Heroin

Heroin

Marijuana

Marijuana

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine

MDMA

MDMA

Ketamine

Ketamine

Nimetazepam

Nimetazepam

Gas chromatograph/mass spectrometers (GC/MSs) are the most important instruments for drug analysis because most of drugs can be analyzed by GC/MS. There are fourteen GC/MSs with different inlet systems in this laboratory.

The robot system is widely used for the pretreatment of quantitative analysis in this laboratory. The stock solution prepared by the robot system contains samples and internal standard components which can be directly sent into GC/MSs for further quantitative analysis of drug seizures.

Robot system

Robot system

Gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer

Gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer

The GC/MS is not suitable for the analysis of thermal unstable and undissolved samples. The high performance liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer (LC/MS) can be used for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the thermal unstable and undissolved samples such as psilocybine, modafinil, etc.

There are three LC/MSs with different kinds of mass analyzers including triple quadruple, time-of-flight and Orbitrap for different analytical purposes in this laboratory.

HPLC/MS/MS

HPLC/MS/MS

HPLC/Orbitrap- MSraph/mass spectrometer

HPLC/Orbitrap- MS


II. Emerging Designer Drugs Analysis

Emerging designer drugs, including new psychoactive substances, have been more and more abused on the youth generation because people abusing these uncontrolled emerging designer drugs are not punished in Taiwan so far. There are many kinds of emerging designer drugs including synthetic cannabinoids, cathinones, amphetamines, weigh-loss drug, erectile dysfunction drugs and others can be found in recent years. All of these emerging designer drugs seized in Taiwan are almost first identified by this laboratory.

Synthetic marijuana

Synthetic marijuana

Fluoroamphetamine

Fluoroamphetamine

BZP + TFMPP

BZP + TFMPP

5-OH-DIPT

5-OH-DIPT

5-HTP

5-HTP

Mephedrone

Mephedrone

This laboratory also shares the database of these emerging designer drugs which were analyzed and identified by instruments such as GC/MS, NMR, high resolution mass spectrometry with other test laboratories in Taiwan or other countries such as Philippine, Vietnam, Thailand and lots of Arabic countries.

NMR

NMR

1D and 2D NMR spectrum picture one

1D and 2D NMR spectrum picture one

1D and 2D NMR spectrum picture two

1D and 2D NMR spectrum picture two


III. Counterfeit Drug and Medicine Analysis

Counterfeit medicines can be easily found on the market and cause more serious citizens�� health issue in Taiwan. Three major kinds of medicines including weigh-loss drugs, erectile dysfunction drugs and traditional Chinese medicines are frequently counterfeited in Taiwan. Hundreds of counterfeit medicine cases are sent to this laboratory for analysis each year.

Counterfeit Erectile Dysfunction Drugs picture 1
Counterfeit Erectile Dysfunction Drugs picture 2
Counterfeit Erectile Dysfunction Drugs picture 3
Counterfeit Erectile Dysfunction Drugs picture 4

Counterfeit Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

Like emerging designer drugs, the counterfeit medicine seizures can be occasionally found containing newly erectile dysfunction and weigh-loss components. By using precise instruments, the accurate chemical structures of the newly components are analyzed and collected in the database of emerging designer drugs.

Sildenafil analogue (M.W. 488.61)

Sildenafil analogue (M.W. 488.61)

Tadalafil analogue (M.W. 403.43)

Tadalafil analogue (M.W. 403.43)

Sildenafil analogue (M.W. 504.68)

Sildenafil analogue (M.W. 504.68)

Lorcaserin

Lorcaserin

In addition to components analysis of counterfeit drugs medicines, differentiation of the origin of them is a unique task for this laboratory which is the only test laboratory qualified to do this task in the government of Taiwan. The GC/MS, Inductively Coupled Plasma /Mass Spectrometer (ICP/MS) and Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS) with gas chromatograph and pyrolyzer inlet system are used for differentiation of the origin of drug and medicine seizures.

ICP/MS

ICP/MS

GC/MS

GC/MS

IRMS

IRMS


IV. Clandestine Lab Analysis

  1. Methamphetamine clandestine lab analysis:

    Methamphetamine has been abused seriously for a long time in Taiwan. The price of methamphetamine has soared because the supply fell short of demand, and this led to a large number of the methamphetamine clandestine labs emerging recently in Taiwan.

    Distribution of Amount of Methamphetamine Clandestine Labs seized by MJIB, 1994-2015

    Distribution of Amount of Methamphetamine Clandestine Labs seized by MJIB, 1994-2015

    There are about 10 synthetic methods such as EMDE method, Red Phosphorus method and P2P method for methamphetamine production found in Taiwan. The precursors including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylacetone, benzaldehyde, phenylacetic acid and phenylacetonitrile are used for methamphetamine production in the clandestine labs in Taiwan.

    Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab (EMDE method) picture 1
    Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab (EMDE method) picture 2
    Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab (EMDE method) picture 3

    Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab (EMDE method)

    Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab (Red Phosphorus method) picture 1
    Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab (Red Phosphorus method) picture 2

    Methamphetamine Clandestine Lab (Red Phosphorus method)

  2. (Pseudo)ephedrine clandestine lab analysis:

    All of the (pseudo)ephedrine clandestine labs seized in Taiwan are responsible for purification of (pseudo)ephedrine. The precursors including tablet (or capsule) for cold and ephedra are extracted by organic solvents and the purified (pseudo)ephedrine can be used for further methamphetamine production.

    Ephedra

    Ephedra

    Capsules for cold

    Capsules for cold

    Tablets for cold

    Tablets for cold

  3. Ketamine clandestine labs analysis:

    The precursors including 1-hydroxycyclopentyl-(o-chlorophenyl) ketone- N-methyl-imine, bromo-(o-chlorophenyl)-cyclopentyl ketone and (o-chlorophenyl)-cyclopentyl ketone are used for manufactures in the ketamine clandestine labs. A great many ketamine clandestine labs emerged until 1-hydroxycyclopentyl-(o-chlorophenyl) ketone-N-methylimine, and (o-chlorophenyl)-cyclopentyl ketone are controlled in Taiwan. Most of ketamine in Taiwan are smuggled at present from Mainland China, India, and Malaysia.

    Ketamine Clandestine Lab picture one
    Ketamine Clandestine Lab picture two

    Ketamine Clandestine Lab

  4. MDMA clandestine lab analysis:

    The precursors including safrole, isosafrole and piperonal are used for manufactures in MDMA clandestine labs in Taiwan. The number of MDMA clandestine labs is less than that of methamphetamine clandestine labs because of more complicated techniques. Most MDMA in Taiwan are smuggled from Europe.

    MDMA Clandestine Lab picture one
    MDMA Clandestine Lab picture two

    MDMA Clandestine Lab

  5. Instrumental analysis:

    GC/MS, Headspace GC/MS, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), ICP/MS and Ion Chromatograph (IC) are frequently used for clandestine labs analysis in this laboratory.

    GC/MS

    GC/MS

    Headspace GC/MS

    Headspace GC/MS

    ICP/MS

    ICP/MS

    Ion Chromatograph

    Ion Chromatograph


V. Drug Metabolite Analysiss

  1. Drug urine analysis:

    The first drug urine test in Taiwan was accomplished by this laboratory in 1954. This laboratory is the only test laboratory responsible for re-testing drug urine cases which are entrusted from courts and prosecutors offices in Taiwan at present.

    SPE Extraction System

    SPE Extraction System

    GC/MS

    GC/MS

    Drug urine test is qualitatively analyzed by using immunoassay screening test followed GC/MS confirmatory test in this laboratory. Precise instruments like LC/MS/MS and GC/MS/MS are used for trace detection of drug in the urine samples. The examined items of drug urine test include the metabolites of opiate, amphetamines, ketamine, cannabis, cocaine, sedative hypnotics and some emerging designer drugs.

  2. Drug Hair Analysis:

    Analysis of urine metabolites from drug abusers is a traditional method for demonstration of drug abuse. Most drug metabolites in urine, however, decayed within 2-3 days after used. Hair analysis is proven to conquer these problems and provides a secure, retrospective window of detection. The pioneering drug hair test in Taiwan was accomplished by this laboratory in 1997.

    Drugs or drug metabolites are remained in individual hair by the circulation of blood, sweat and other external sources during the hair growth phase after drugs used. Because hair grows at a relatively constant rate, hair analysis can provide a history of drug consumption in both time and amount.

    Hair analysis is a reliable indicator of long-term drug abuse. The detectable window can range from months to years, depending on the length of the hair shaft. The detection instruments for hair drug test are based on GC/MS, GC/MS/MS, LC/Ion-Trap MS, and LC/MS/MS etc.

    Hair types:Head hair, Axillary hair, Pubic hair

    Hair types:Head hair, Axillary hair, Pubic hair

    Procedures of segmental analysis for hair samples

    Procedures of segmental analysis for hair samples

    Procedures of washing hair samples

    Procedures of washing hair samples

    Procedures of digestion of hair samples

    Procedures of digestion of hair samples

    Solid phase extraction and liquid-liquid extraction for hair analysis

    Solid phase extraction and liquid-liquid extraction for hair analysis

    GC/MS and LC/MS/MS picture 1

    GC/MS and LC/MS/MS picture 1

    GC/MS and LC/MS/MS picture 2

    GC/MS and LC/MS/MS picture 2


VI. Protected Wildlife Products Identification

  1. Ivory identification:

    1. Introduction: The word “ivory” was traditionally applied only to the tusks of elephants. However, the chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same regardless of the species of origin. The trade in certain teeth and tusks in addition to elephant is well established and widespread. Therefore, “ivory” can correctly be used to describe any mammalian tooth or tusk of commercial interest which is large enough to be carved for arts.
    2. Categories of ivory:
      Source (Protected Species) Source (General Wildlife)

      Elephant (Asian, African)

      Narwhal, Killer/Sperm Whale

      Hippopotamus

      Mammoth (fossil ivory)

      Walrus

      Warthog

    3. Methods of identification: Morphological examination, UV fluorescence test, FT-IR, and Pyrolyzer-GC/MS.
    Ivory products

    Ivory products

  2. Bear bile identification:

    1. Introduction: Bear bile (Xiong-Dan, Fellea Ursi), an important ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is the dried gallbladder with bile of Selenarctos thibetanus or Ursus arctos L. under the family of Ursidae.
    2. Methods of identification: HPLC/ IonTrap MS.
    Bear bile products (TCM with bear bile in the ingredients)

    Bear bile products (TCM with bear bile in the ingredients)

  3. Musk identification:

    1. Introduction: Musk (She-Xiang, Moschus), a valuable ingredient in TCM, is the dry secretion in sachet of mature male Moschus moschiferus L., Moschus berezovskii F., or Moschus sifanieus P. of family Moschidae.
    2. Method of identification: GC/MS.
    Musk products (TCM with musk in the ingredients)

    Musk products (TCM with musk in the ingredients)

  4. Tortoiseshell identification:

    1. Introduction: Tortoiseshell is a material produced from the shells of the larger species of sea turtle, mainly the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata squamata).
    2. Methods of identification: Morphological examination, FT-IR, and Pyrolyzer-GC/MS.
    Tortoiseshell products

    Tortoiseshell products