Date of Award

Summer 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biological Sciences


Biomedical Sciences

Committee Director

Edward J. Poziomek

Committee Member

Barbara Hargrave

Committee Member

Patricia A. Pleban

Committee Member

Mark S. Elliot


The major objective of this research is to examine ion mobility spectrometry as a rapid screening tool for specific application to clinical chemistry research and laboratory use. Methodology was developed for target analytes representing several classes of physiologically active substances, including anesthetics, illicit drugs, and their metabolites. The IMS characteristics of animal tissues and other compounds such as amino acids and proteins were determined. Quality assurance and control procedures were developed for specific quality data objectives. Criteria were established relating to use of IMS for assessing the precision and accuracy of data, qualitative screening, and semi-quantitative analyses.

It was found that animal tissues and plasma harvested from rabbits can be characterized using IMS. The mobility spectra of these tissues were also found to contain peaks assigned to the anesthetics, Rompun and Ketaset, heparin, and ecgonine methyl ester (EME), a cocaine metabolite. Enhancement and retardation effects were identified with cocaine and its metabolites as well as with heroin, and its metabolite 6-acetylmorphine. A nonspecific interaction of heroin and morphine with animal tissues and different proteins was also identified using IMS. It was concluded that the use of IMS for clinical applications is feasible. The benefits and limitations of using IMS for clinical chemistry applications were identified.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Science.