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Dynamic Planar Solid Phase Microextraction-Ion Mobility Spectrometry for Rapid Field Air Sampling and Analysis of Illicit Drugs and Explosives

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2010
10 pages
This paper presents the first report of a solid phase microextraction (SPME) device, dynamic planar solid phase microextraction (PSPME), that enables rapid air sampling of the volatile chemical signatures of drugs and explosives for direct introduction into existing ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) instruments.
The results obtained from this device indicate that even with a minimal amount of emitting source present, the dynamic PSPME-IMS method performs well as a rapid and sensitive screening tool applicable for field analysis. Since there is no need for an additional interface, minimal change in security infrastructure would be necessary to use this methodology for the open-air sampling of places suspected of containing illicit drugs or explosives. The device should not restrict the flow of passenger or cargo traffic in the area, since it is a rapid, high-throughput analysis method. This stems from its reusability and the fact that both sampling and IMS analysis are completed in seconds. PSPME is accomplished by using a planar device that allows sampling of a large volume of air and has a high surface area for the capture and strong retention of these compounds from air. These attributes suggest that dynamic PSPME is suitable as an exhaustive sampler compared to the other SPME configurations that are generally considered non-exhaustive, equilibrium-based sampling devices. This is advantageous when extracting trace amounts of volatile chemical signature diluted in a large volume of air; this is the case when sampling in the field. This device is suitable for field sampling by using an accessory, the hand-held vacuum. This is a portable easy-to-use pump that is already available and in use for collection of particles. 4 figures and 3 tables

Date Published: January 1, 2010