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Characterization of Performance-Enhancing Peptides via Inlet Ionization on DART-TOF/MS

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2018
55 pages
The findings and methodology are presented for a project that developed a protocol for analyzing peptide samples, using a time-of-flight mass spectrometer through a variety of ionization methods.

Consumers can purchase performance-enhancing peptides and cosmetic peptides online anonymously and at a low price. Although the sale of these peptides may not be legally prohibited, their identification is still an analytical concern due to the existence of counterfeit peptide products. The authenticity of the peptides being sold to the public raises health and safety, as well as legal concerns. Generally, crime laboratories do not have protocols for the identification of peptides and large biomolecules. The gold standard of forensic drug analysis, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), is typically limited to the analysis of small molecules that are readily vaporized at the inlet. High-resolution mass spectrometers capable of ambient ionization are well-suited for the analysis of peptides. In developing a protocol for analyzing peptide samples using a time-of-flight mass spectrometer through a variety of ionization methods, this protocol requires no external ion source or additional equipment in many cases. Theoretically, this enables its use with any mass spectrometer of appropriate mass analyzer range that incorporates an atmospheric pressure inlet. Various peptide standards and former case samples were successfully analyzed using matrix-assisted inlet ionization mass spectrometry. In addition, researchers purchased and tested an array of peptides from an online vendor to determine their authenticity. Suggestions for further research in this area are offered. 10 figures, 1 table, 78 references, and listing for disseminations of research findings

Date Published: April 1, 2018