When fast and accurate results are key to a successful forensic analysis, the DART coupled with accurate mass instruments is an invaluable tool. For prosecutors, the unambiguous rapid analysis of seized drugs can lead to successful prosecutions. Screening for explosives is also possible using DART. See the latest handbook of publications of DART in Forensics here. .
DART can reduce workflows by pre-screening seized compounds and improving analysts productivity
Here is an Applications note from Agilent showing the detection of some common street drugs, Increasing Quality While Maintaining Efficiency in Drug Chemistry with DART-TOF MS Screening.
Intact hair samples can be analysed using DART. The main advatange of this technique of that DART can give a historical timeline of when drugs were ingested. Hair grows at approximately 1 cm per month, using DART to 'scan' along the length of the hair, looking for marker ions of certain drugs, a timeline can be obtained showing when drugs were taken. No sample preparation is needed. This presentation shows some work undertaken by our colleague Wilco Duvivier in the group of Professor Michel Nielen at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands Rapid analysis of THC in hair using DART-MS .
Using a combination of the field portable MT-50 Explorer ion trap mass spectrometer from MassTech Inc and the proven DART source from IonSense Inc. unknown compounds can be identified in seconds. Look at this video showing a tablet sample scraped onto an OpenSpot card giving a spectra within a few seconds.
Dr Gaud Dervilly-Pinel and her colleagues at Laboratoire d’Etude des Résidus et Contaminants dans les Aliments (LABERCA) in Nantes France used DART to study a high throughput screening method for detecting counterfeit anabolic steroids. Such a method would help prevent them from being illegally administered to animals and hence entering the food chain. The published paper can be found here
This presentation shows how DART can be used to analyse the adsorbed volatiles from a scene of crime where explosives have been used. In the traditional method using GC-MS analysis time to identify the compounds is typically 30-40 mins per sample. Using DART, this can be reduced to 15 seconds.
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