Utilisation of an electrochemiluminescence sensor for atropine determination in complex matrices

Brown, Kelly and McMenemy, Moira and Palmer, Matthew and Baker, Matthew J. and Robinson, David W. and Allan, Pamela and Dennany, Lynn (2019) Utilisation of an electrochemiluminescence sensor for atropine determination in complex matrices. Analytical Chemistry, 91 (19). pp. 12369-12376. ISSN 0003-2700 (https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.9b02905)

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A major challenge within forensic science is the development of accurate and robust methodologies that can be utilized on-site for detection at crime scenes and can be used for analyzing multiple sample types. The recent expansion of electrochemical sensors to tackle this hurdle requires sensors that can undergo analysis without any pretreatment. Given the vast array of samples that are submitted for forensic analysis, this can pose a major challenge for all electrochemical sensors, including electrochemiluminescent (ECL)-based sensors. Within this contribution, we demonstrate the capacity for an ECL-based sensor to address this challenge and it is potential to detect and quantify atropine from a wide range of samples directly from herbal material to spiked solutions. This portable platform demonstrates satisfactory analytical parameters with linearity across a concentration range of 0.75 to 100 μM, reproducibility of 3.0%, repeatability of 9.2%, and a detection limit of ∼0.75 μM. The sensor displays good selectivity toward alkaloid species and, in particular, the hallucinogenic tropane alkaloid functionality within complex matrices. This portable sensor provides rapid detection alongside low cost and operational simplicity, thus, providing a basis for the exploitation of ECL-based sensors within the forensic arena.