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Resolution of opiate illicit drugs signals in the presence of some cutting agents with use of a voltammetric sensor array and machine learning strategies

In the present work, carried out by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the University of Antwerp (UA) the resolution and quantification of mixtures of different opiate compounds in the presence of common cutting agents using an electronic tongue (ET) is evaluated. More specifically, ternary mixtures of heroin, morphine and codeine were resolved in the presence of caffeine and paracetamol.

To this aim, an array of three carbon screen-printed electrodes were modified with different ink-like solutions of graphite, cobalt (II) phthalocyanine and palladium, and their responses towards the different drugs were characterized by means of square wave voltammetry (SWV). With this approach, quantification of the different drugs was achieved at the μM level, with a total normalized root mean square error (NRMSE) of 0.084 for the test subset.

Full article has been published in Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, and can be found here.


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