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Dr Catia Costa


Research Staff
PhD, MChem in Chemistry with Forensic Investigation
+44 (0)1483 689829
18 NC 00

Biography

Areas of specialism

Ion Beam Analysis; Mass Spectrometry

University roles and responsibilities

  • Surrey's Ion Beam Centre Liaison Fellow

My qualifications

MChem in Chemistry with Forensic Investigation
University of Surrey
2017
PhD
University of Surrey

Affiliations and memberships

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry
Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry

My publications

Publications

Ismail Mahado, Stevenson Derek, Costa Catia, Webb Roger, de Puit M, Bailey Melanie (2018) Noninvasive Detection of Cocaine and Heroin Use with Single Fingerprints: Determination of an Environmental Cutoff, Clinical Chemistry 64 (6) pp. 909-917 American Association for Clinical Chemistry
BACKGROUND:

Recent publications have explored the
possibility of using fingerprints to confirm drug use, but
none has yet dealt with environmental contamination
from fingertips. Here we explored the possibility of establishing
an environmental cutoff for drug testing from
a single fingerprint.

METHODS:

Fingerprint samples (n=100) were collected
from the hands of 50 nondrug users before and after
handwashing to establish separate environmental cutoff
values and testing protocols for cocaine, benzoylecgonine,
heroin, and 6-monoacetylmorphine. The cutoff was challenged
by testing the fingerprints of drug-free volunteers
after shaking hands with drug users. Fingerprints from patients
who testified to taking cocaine (n = 32) and heroin
(n = 24) were also collected and analyzed.

RESULTS:

A different cutoff value needed to be applied,
depending on whether the fingerprints were collected as
presented or after handwashing. Applying these cutoffs gave
a 0%false-positive rate from the drug-free volunteers. After
application of the cutoff, the detection rate (compared to
patient testimony) for washed hands of patients was 87.5%
for cocaine use and 100% for heroin use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fingerprints show enhanced levels of cocaine,
heroin, and their respective metabolites in patients
who testified to taking the substances, compared with the
population of na1¨ve drug users surveyed, and a cutoff
(decision level) can be established. The cutoff is robust
enough to account for small increases in analyte observed
after secondary transfer.

De Jesus Janella, Bunch Josephine, Verbeck Guido, Webb Roger, Costa Catia, Goodwin Richard, Bailey Melanie (2018) Application of Various Normalisation Methods for Microscale Analysis of Tissues Using Direct Analyte Probed Nano-extraction (DAPNe), Analytical Chemistry 90 (20) pp. 12094-12100 American Chemical Society
Direct analyte-probed nano-extraction (DAPNe) is a method of extracting material from a microscale region of a sample and provides the opportunity for detailed mass spectrometry analysis of extracted analytes from a small area. The technique has been shown to provide enhanced sensitivity compared with bulk analysis by selectively removing analytes from their matrix and has been applied for selective analysis of single cells and even single organelles. However, the quantitative capabilities of the technique are yet to be fully evaluated. In this study, various normalisation techniques were investigated in order to improve the quantitative capabilities of the technique. Two methods of internal standard incorporation were applied to test substrates, which were designed to replicate biological sample matrices. Additionally, normalisation to the extraction spot area and matrix compounds were investigated for suitability in situations when an internal standard is not available. The variability observed can be significantly reduced by using a sprayed internal standard, and in some cases, by normalising to the extracted area.
Bailey Melanie, Randall EC, Costa Catia, Salter T, Race AM, de Puit M, Koeberg M, Baumert M, Bunch J (2016) Analysis of Urine, Oral fluid and Fingerprints by Liquid Extraction Surface Analysis Coupled to High Resolution MS and MS/MS ? Opportunities for Forensic and Biomedical Science, Analytical Methods 8 (16) pp. 3373-3382 Royal Society of Chemistry
Liquid Extraction Surface Analysis (LESA) is a new, high throughput tool for ambient mass spectrometry. A solvent droplet is deposited from a pipette tip onto a surface and maintains contact with both the surface and the pipette tip for a few seconds before being re-aspirated. The technique is particularly suited to the analysis of trace materials on surfaces due to its high sensitivity and low volume of sample removal. In this work, we assess the suitability of LESA for obtaining detailed chemical profiles of fingerprints, oral fluid and urine, which may be used in future for rapid medical diagnostics or metabolomics studies. We further show how LESA can be used to detect illicit drugs and their metabolites in urine, oral fluid and fingerprints. This makes LESA a potentially useful tool in the growing field of fingerprint chemical analysis, which is relevant not only to forensics but also to medical diagnostics. Finally, we show how LESA can be used to detect the explosive material RDX in contaminated artificial fingermarks.
Bailey Melanie, Bradshaw R, Francese S, Salter T, De Puit M, Costa Catia, Ismail M, Bosman I, Wolff K, Webb Roger (2015) Rapid Detection of Cocaine, Benzoylecgonine and Methylecgonine in Fingerprints using Surface Mass Spectrometry, The Analyst 140 pp. 6254-6259
Bailey Melanie, Ismail Mahado, Bleay S, Bright N, Elad ML, Cohen Y, Geller B, Everson D, Costa Catia, Webb RP, Watts JF, de Puit M (2013) Enhanced imaging of developed fingerprints using mass spectrometry imaging, ANALYST 138 (21) pp. 6246-6250 ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
Ismail Mahado, Baumert M, Stevenson Derek, Watts John, Webb Roger, Costa Catia, Robinson F, Bailey Melanie (2016) A diagnostic test for cocaine and benzoylecgonine in urine and oral fluid using portable mass spectrometry, Analytical Methods: advancing methods and applications 9 pp. 1839-1847 Royal Society of Chemistry
Surface mass spectrometry methods can be difficult to use effectively with low cost, portable mass spectrometers. This is because commercially available portable (single quadrupole) mass spectrometers lack the mass resolution to confidently differentiate between analyte and background signals. Additionally, current surface analysis methods provide no facility for chromatographic separation and therefore are vulnerable to ion suppression. Here we present a new analytical method where analytes are extracted from a sample using a solvent flushed across the surface under high pressure, separated using a chromatography column and then analysed using a portable mass spectrometer. The use of chromatography reduces ion suppression effects and this, used in combination with in-source fragmentation, increases selectivity, thereby allowing high sensitivity to be achieved with a portable and affordable quadrupole mass spectrometer. We demonstrate the efficacy of the method for the quantitative detection of cocaine and benzoylecgonine in urine and oral fluid. The method gives relative standard deviations below 15% (with one exception), and R2 values above 0.998. The limits of detection for these analytes in oral fluid and urine are
Costa Catia, Webb Roger, Palitsin Vladimir, Ismail Mahado, de Puit Marcel, Atkinson Samuel, Bailey Melanie (2017) Rapid, secure drug testing using fingerprint development and paper spray mass spectrometry, Clinical Chemistry 63 (11) pp. 1745-1752 American Association for Clinical Chemistry

BACKGROUND: Paper spray mass spectrometry6 is a technique
that has recently emerged and has shown excellent
analytical sensitivity to a number of drugs in blood. As an
alternative to blood, fingerprints have been shown to
provide a noninvasive and traceable sampling matrix.
Our goal was to validate the use of fingerprint samples to
detect cocaine use.

METHODS: Samples were collected on triangular pieces
(168 mm2) of washed Whatman Grade I chromatography
paper. Following application of internal standard,
spray solvent and a voltage were applied to the paper
before mass spectrometry detection. A fingerprint visualization
step was incorporated into the analysis procedure
by addition of silver nitrate solution and exposing the
sample to ultraviolet light.

RESULTS: Limits of detection for cocaine, benzoylecgonine,
and methylecgonine were 1, 2, and 31 ng/mL respectively,
with relative standard deviations of less than 33%. No
matrix effects were observed. Analysis of 239 fingerprint
samples yielded a 99% true-positive rate and a 2.5%
false-positive rate, based on the detection of cocaine,
benzoylecgonine, or methylecgonine with use of a single
fingerprint.

CONCLUSIONS: The method offers a qualitative and noninvasive
screening test for cocaine use. The analysis
method developed is rapid (4 min/sample) and requires
no sample preparation.

Costa Catia, van Es Elsje M., Sears Patrick, Bunch Josephine, Palitsin Vladimir, Mosegaard Kirst, Bailey Melanie (2019) Exploring Rapid, Sensitive and Reliable Detection of Trace Explosives Using Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry (PS?MS), Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 44 (8) pp. 1021-1027 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co
In this publication we work towards providing fast, sensitive and selective analysis of explosive compounds collected on swabs using paper spray mass spectrometry. We have (a) increased the size of the paper spray substrate to 1.6×2.1 cm for compatibility with current practise
in swabbing for explosive material; (b) developed a method for determining a successful extraction of analyte from the substrate to reduce false negative events; and (c) expanded the range of analytes that can be detected using paper spray to include the peroxide explosive HMTD, as well as nitroglycerine (NG), picric acid (PA) and tetryl. We report the development of a 30 s method for the simultaneous
detection of 7 different explosive materials using PSMS with detection limits below 25 pg, as well as detection of HMTD at 2500 pg, showing an improvement on previously published work.
Costa Catia, Frampas Cecile, Longman Katherine A., Palitsin Vladimir, Ismail Mahado, Sears Patrick, Nilforooshan Ramin, Bailey Melanie J. (2019) Paper spray screening and LC-MS confirmation for medication adherence testing: a two-step process, Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Wiley

RATIONALE: Paper spray offers a rapid screening test without the need for sample preparation. The incomplete extraction of paper spray allows for further testing using more robust, selective and sensitive techniques such as liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Here we develop a two-step process of paper spray followed by LC-MS to (1) rapidly screen a large number of samples and (2) confirm any disputed results. This demonstrates the applicability for testing medication adherence from a fingerprint.

METHODS: Following paper spray analysis, drugs of abuse samples were analysed using LC-MS. All analyses were completed using a Q Exactive" Plus Orbitrap" mass spectrometer. This two-step procedure was applied to fingerprints collected from patients on a maintained dose of the antipsychotic drug quetiapine.

RESULTS: The extraction efficiency of paper spray for two drugs of abuse and metabolites was found to be between 15-35% (analyte dependent). For short acquisition times, the extraction efficiency was found to vary between replicates by less than 30%, enabling subsequent analysis by LC-MS. This two-step process was then applied to fingerprints collected from two patients taking the antipsychotic drug quetiapine, which demonstrates how a negative screening result from paper spray can be resolved using LC-MS.

CONCLUSIONS: We have shown for the first time the sequential analysis of the same sample using paper spray and LC-MS, as well as the detection of an antipsychotic drug from a fingerprint. We propose that this workflow may also be applied to any type of sample compatible with paper spray, and will be especially convenient where only one sample is available for analysis.

Costa Catia, Ismail Mahado, Stevenson Derek, Gibson Brian, Webb Roger, Bailey Melanie (2019) Distinguishing between contact and administration of heroin from a single fingerprint using high resolution mass spectrometry, Journal of Analytical Toxicology Oxford University Press (OUP)

Fingerprints have been proposed as a promising new matrix for drug testing. In previous work it has been shown that a fingerprint can be used to distinguish between drug users and non-users. Herein, we look at the possibility of using a fingerprint to distinguish between dermal contact and administration of heroin.

Fingerprint samples were collected from (a) 10 patients attending a drug rehabilitation clinic (b) 50 non-drug users (c) participants who touched 2 mg street heroin, before and after various hand cleaning procedures. Oral fluid was also taken from the patients. All samples were analysed using a liquid chromatography ? high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) method validated in previous work for heroin and 6-AM. The HRMS data was analysed retrospectively for morphine, codeine, 6-acetylcodeine and noscapine.
Heroin and 6-AM were detected in all fingerprint samples produced from contact with heroin, even after handwashing. In contrast, morphine, acetylcodeine and noscapine were successfully removed after handwashing.

In patient samples, the detection of morphine, noscapine and acetylcodeine (alongside heroin and 6-AM) gave a closer agreement to patient testimony on whether they had recently used heroin use than the detection of heroin and 6-AM alone.

This research highlights the importance of washing hands prior to donating a fingerprint sample to distinguish recent contact with heroin from heroin use.