Validation of Thin Layer Chromatography with AccuTOF-DART® Detection for Forensic Drug Analysis

Authors: Robert R. Steiner
Journal of Forensic Sciences 2011, Sep, 01, 56(5), 1261–1267


Thin layer chromatography (TLC) is a technique that is commonly employed in the forensic drug analysis of pharmaceutical preparations. Detection is typically accomplished using various visualization spray reagents. Conventional gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis is typically performed to confirm the TLC results. Depending on the drugs tested and the instrument conditions required, this confirmation can take up to an hour to complete. Direct analysis in real time (DART®™) is an ionization source, coupled to an accurate-mass time-of-flight mass spectrometer that has the capability to ionize materials under ambient conditions. To streamline analysis, the combination of TLC with DART®™ detection is proposed to screen and subsequently identify drug compounds, all from the same TLC plate. DART®™ confirmations of TLC analyses take <10 min to complete and compare favorably to GC-MS in sensitivity and selectivity. This study validates the use of TLC-DART® in the forensic identification of the components of several pharmaceutical preparations.
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