Electrochemiluminescent detection of methamphetamine and amphetamine

Jonathan McGeehan, Lynn Dennany

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Direct detection of amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) including methylamphetamine (MA) in street samples and biological matrices without the need for pretreatment or extraction is a great challenge for forensic drug analysis. Electrochemical techniques, such as electrochemiluminescence (ECL), are promising tools for this area of analysis. This contribution focuses on the electrochemical and photochemical properties of [Ru(bpy)3]2+ nafion composite films and their subsequent use for the detection of ATS in particular MA. Under optimised conditions, the response linearly increased with the concentration over the concentration range 50 pM <[MA]< 1 mM while an equivalent dynamic range was obtained for amphetamine with a correlation coefficient of 0.9903 and 0.9948 respectively. The ECL signal was monitored at ~620 nm, representing the λmax for the [Ru(bpy)3]2+ nafion composite films. This wavelength is shifted by approximately 15 nm compared to the photoexcited λmax for the same system. The modified films were formed by direct interaction with the electrode surface without the need for surface modification or chain linkers. This is a major advantage for the fabrication of any sensor as it reduces the synthesis times resulting in more economically and cheaper production costs. This technique is simple, rapid, selective and sensitive, and shows potential for the high-throughput quantitation of ATS as well as possibilities for adaptation with other techniques such as FIA or LC systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2016


  • electrochemiluminescence (ECL)
  • amphetamine-like drugs
  • electrochemical detection
  • ruthenium complexes


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