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Direct Analysis of textile dyes from trace fibers by automated microfluidics extraction system coupled with Q-TOF mass spectrometer for forensic applications

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 289 Dated: August 2018 Pages: 67-74
Date Published
August 2018
8 pages
This study performed a direct trace fiber analysis method via dye characterization by a novel automated microfluidics device (MFD) dye extraction system coupled with a quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer (MS).

Textile fiber is a common form of transferable trace evidence at the crime scene. Various techniques, such as microscopy or spectroscopy, are currently being used for trace fiber analysis. Dye characterization in trace fiber adds an important molecular specificity during the analysis. In the current study, the MFD system used an in-house made automated procedure that requires only 10 microliter of organic solvent for the extraction. The system's total extraction and identification time is under 12 min. A variety of sulfonated azo and anthraquinone dyes were analyzed from ­1 mm length nylon fiber samples. This methodology successfully characterized multiple dyes (greater than or equal to 3 dyes) from a single fiber thread. In addition, it was possible to do dye characterization from single fibers with a diameter of 10 microliter. The MFD-MS system was used for elemental composition and isotopic distribution analysis where MFD-MS/MS was used for structural characterization of dyes on fibers. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: August 1, 2018