Since in the field of odor detection there is generally a wider variation in limit of detections (LODs) for canines than instruments, the current study introduced an improved protocol for the creation of controlled odor mimic permeation system (COMPS) devices for use as standards in canine training and discusses the canine detection thresholds of piperonal, a starting material for the illicit drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), when exposed to these devices.
In addition, this article describes the first-ever reported direct comparison of solid phase microextraction–ion mobility spectrometry (SPME–IMS) to canine detection for the MDMA odorant, piperonal. The research reported shows the reliability of COMPS devices as low-cost field calibrants providing a wide range of odorant concentrations for biological and instrumental detectors. The canine LOD of piperonal emanating from the 100 ng s−1 COMPS was found to be 1 ng as compared to the SPME–IMS LOD of piperonal in a static, closed system at 2 ng, with a linear dynamic range from 2 ng to 11 ng. The use of the COMPS devices would enable training that will reduce the detection variability between canines and maintain improved consistency for training purposes. Since both SPME and IMS are field portable technologies, it is expected that this coupled method will be useful as a complement to canine detection for the field detection of MDMA. (publisher abstract modified)
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