Fabric Analysis by Ambient Mass Spectrometry for Explosives and Drugs

Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
The Analyst (Impact Factor: 4.11). 12/2008; 133(11):1532-40. DOI: 10.1039/b807934j
Source: PubMed


Desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) is applied to the rapid, in-situ, direct qualitative and quantitative analysis of mixtures of explosives and drugs from a variety of fabrics, including cotton, silk, denim, polyester, rayon, spandex, leather and their blends. The compounds analyzed were explosives: trinitrohexahydro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and the drugs of abuse: heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Limits of detection are in the picogram range. DESI analyses were performed without sample preparation and carried out in the presence of common interfering chemical matrices, such as insect repellant, urine, and topical lotions. Spatial and depth profiling was investigated to examine the depth of penetration and lateral resolution. DESI was also used to examine cotton transfer swabs used for travel security sample collection in the screening process. High throughput quantitative analysis of fabric surfaces for targeted analytes is also reported.

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