Basic Information

Abstract Number: 1320 - 4
Author Name: Robert R Steiner - Virginia Dept of Forensic Science
Session Title: New and Emerging Analytical Technologies in Forensic Science
Event Type: Symposia
Event Title: Five Years of DART-TOF Forensic Applications

Presider Name:Ruth Smith
Affiliation:Michigan State University

Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Start Time: 03:15 PM (Slot #4)
Location: 118C

Abstract Content

The Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) ion source was introduced to the world in 2005 with the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (VaDFS) obtaining this technology in early 2007. Since that time, VaDFS has used the DART, coupled with an accurate mass time of flight mass spectrometer (TOF) to successfully screen and identify drugs and other compounds of forensic interest, with little to no sample preparation. Directed research with students from Virginia Commonwealth University has studied applications of DART-TOF for: the detection of GHB in various drink matrices; use of DART-TOF as an identification tool after thin-layer chromatographic separation of drug compounds; methodology for screening clothing articles for the presence of bank dye or capsaicin; detection and characterization of polymers in gasoline; development of a spectral database of DART-TOF spectra; purification of the active ingredients in pharmaceutical preparations with TLC and DART-TOF detection; use of DART-TOF to differentiate smokeless gun powders; characterization of carpet fibers with DART-TOF spectra; detection of steroids in “body building” products; elucidation of structures of chromophores produced from the reaction of TLC sprays with various drugs and a statistical analysis of DART-TOF spectra for use as a confirmation of pharmaceutical markings on tablets and capsules. While not all of the studied applications have been developed into working protocols, many showed encouraging “proof of concept” ideas for later implementation. A discussion of the above applications should spark interest in further research with this exciting technique.