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Scientific White Paper: Identifying Xylazine in Drug Mixtures with Amplifi ID

Updated: Jul 10

Cover for Xylazine Drug Analysis White Paper, including Amplifi ID photo
Xylazine Drug Analysis White Paper Cover

Xylazine Background

Rates of xylazine adulteration have increased throughout the unregulated drug supply in the United States. Xylazine is non-opiate sedative often used in veterinary medicine which does not respond to Narcan (Naloxone) due to its different mechanism of action. Ingestion can therefore lead to difficult-to-treat overdoses, especially when it is mixed with synthetic opioids like fentanyl.  Long term xylazine consumption has also been linked to other adverse effects such as skin lesions and severe wound formation. Consequently, there has been a surge in the need to detect these substances within drug samples and to monitor their proliferation within communities.

How Amplifi ID Addresses Xylazine Detection

This technical white paper dives into the scientific basis for Amplifi ID’s ability to detect xylazine in mixed drug samples, starting from the unique Raman and SERS spectral characteristics of the molecule compared to other noteworthy substances like fentanyl. Using both scientific reference standards and an analysis on real-world street samples, the paper outlines strong evidence for the technology to detect xylazine in combination with other drug molecules and cutting agents.  The paper also includes a comparison of how an FTIR instrument and Amplifi ID performed on detecting both fentanyl and xylazine within the street samples, with several instances of the molecules found below 5 wt.%.

Raman and SERS spectra of Fentanyl and Xylazine with Amplifi ID
Raman spectra obtained with the Amplifi ID using both Bulk Scan and Trace Scan modes for a) pure fentanyl powder and b) pure xylazine powder. Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) substrates were tested by dissolving the pure powders in methanol to create 50 ppm and 500 ppm solutions.

Download the Paper to Learn More

To read the full paper, follow this link. If you want to learn more about Spectra Plasmonics, Amplifi ID, or schedule a demo, please don't hesitate to reach out.



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