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Title

CHIRAL SEPARATION AND QUANTITATION OF KHAT DESIGNER DRUG – SYNTHETIC

CATHINONES – IN URINE AND PLASMA

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Mohammed A. Meetani

Defense Date

10 November 2016

Abstract

This dissertation is concerned with the latest class of the new designer drugs (NDDs) which overruns the

world in the last few years as “legal high” drugs, under the name of bath salts or synthetic cathinones.

Bath salts are a group of central nervous system stimulants that consists mainly of synthetic cathinone

derivatives. In nature, cathinone (β-keto amphetamine) exists in the leaves of the Catha edulis plant which

can be found easily in the region of northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. All synthetic cathinone

derivatives contain a chiral center and most probably sold out as a racemic mixture. Commonly, one of

the enantiomers will have greater psychological effect in human biological system than the other one.

Therefore it’s important to distinguish between synthetic cathinone enantiomers. Enantiomeric separation

and determination of these NDD’s may give information about the source of these synthetic drugs and the

raw materials that were used in the synthesis process and also facilitates the drug tracking.

The main objective of this dissertation is to develop and validate sensitive and selective analytical methods

that use direct and indirect chiral separation and quantitation for synthetic cathinones in real biological

samples using chromatography coupled with mass spectrometer detector (MSD) and Diode Array detector

(DAD).

The study goals were achieved successfully by developing and validation of three different methods for

chiral separation and quantitation for 65 compounds of synthetic cathinones. Enantiomer quantitation in

urine and plasma were performed and reported for the first time in this study; also it’s the first time to

report the chiral separation of tertiary amine cathinones where we were able to separate 19 out 22 of

them.

RASHED HUMAID AHMAD KHALFAN

BIN HUZAIM ALREMEITHI

Department of Chemistry

College of Science

Dissertation

Apr 27, 2020