As submitted by the applicant: The primary goals of this research project are to directly assist forensic scientists who analyze controlled substances, either as seized drugs or in biological samples like urine and serum. Overall, this project seeks to improve the analysis of thermally unstable drugs by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry through a combination of derivatization and a novel total vaporization technique (Total Vaporization Solid Phase Microextraction or TV-SPME).
This will be accomplished as follows:
1) Establish off-line derivatization techniques that allow thermally unstable compounds such as carboxylic acids, amines and zwitterions to be successfully analyzed using GC/MS
2) Adapt these methods to an automated platform that will conduct pre- or post- extraction on-fiber derivatization within the context of a TV-SPME extraction
3) Apply these methods to materials that are commonly encountered as seized drugs (e.g., powders, tablets or spiked beverages)
4) Apply these methods to materials that are commonly encountered in forensic toxicology laboratories (e.g., drugs in urine and serum)
The information that is gathered will then be compiled and disseminated so that a complete set of methods can be transferred to forensic science laboratories using traditional liquid injection. In addition, the relative merits of TV-SPME (e.g., greater sensitivity, automated derivatization) will also be assessed.
This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.