LC-HRMS characterization of the skin pigmentation and sexual enhancers melanotan II and bremelanotide sold on the black market of performance and image enhancing drugs / Serena Mestria, Sara Odoardi, Giampietro Frison, Sabina Strano Rossi
- Drug Testing and Analysis 13 (2021) 4 (April), p. 876-882
- PMID: 33245851
- DOI: 10.1002/dta.2986
The spread of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) often requires forensic toxicology laboratories to identify unknown compounds without reference standards. We characterized the PIEDs melanotan II and bremelanotide, not legally marketed, in eight unknown samples confiscated by police together with anabolic steroids, hormone modulators, sexual enhancers and stimulants, intended for the black market of bodybuilders, using liquid chromatography-high resolution/high accuracy Orbitrap mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). The characterization was carried out by the accurate mass measurements of MH+ ionic species, the study of their isotopic patterns and the associated relative isotopic abundance (RIA) values, as well as the accurate mass measurements of collision-induced product ions obtained in fragmentation experiments. LC-HRMS confirmed itself as a powerful analytical tool to elucidate the elemental composition and structural characteristics of unknown compounds.