This manuscript describes the new National Institute of Standards (NIST) DART-MS Forensics Database and the steps taken to automate the data evaluation process.
Facing increasing caseloads and an everchanging drug landscape, forensic laboratories have been implementing new analytical tools. Direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS) is often one of these tools because it provides a wealth of information from a rapid, simple analysis. The data produced by these systems, while extremely useful, can be difficult to interpret, especially in the case of complex mixtures, and therefore, mass spectral databases are often used to assist in interpretation of data. Development of these databases can be expensive and time-consuming and often relies on manual evaluation of the underlying data. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released an initial DART-MS in-source collisional-induced dissociation mass spectral database for seized drugs in the early 2010s, but it has not been updated to reflect the increasing prevalence of novel psychoactive substances. Recently, efforts to update the database have been undertaken. To assist in development of the database, an automated data evaluation process was also created. (Published abstract provided)
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