This sixth episode of the 2019 R&D season of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Just Science podcast series consists of an interview with Dr. Jorn Yu, professor of forensic science at Sam Houston State University, who discusses the chemical analysis of controlled substances using automated headspace solid phase microextraction.
Preparatory background information notes that headspace solid phase microextraction, which was developed in the 1990s, is not necessarily a novel technique. Although it is a reliable method for extracting analytes, it has not been regularly used in the forensic sciences until recently. Dr. Jorn Yu received funding from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for a research project that is combining headspace solid phase microextraction with gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The interview focuses on a method for identifying controlled substances with the use of headspace solid phase microextraction and GC/MS. Most of his work has focused on marijuana, and advantages for analyzing fentanyl are also addressed. The benefits of rapid adsorption are discussed, along with the method's benefit in distinguishing drug mixtures.