Forensic Applications of DART-MS: A review of recent literature

Forensic Chemistry 2021, Jun, 29, 22, 1-16


The need for rapid chemical analyses and new analytical tools in forensic laboratories continues to grow due to case backlogs, difficult-to-analyze cases, and identification of previously unseen materials such as new psychoactive substances. To adapt to these needs, the forensics community has been pursuing the use of ambient ionization mass spectrometry, and more specifically direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS), for a wide range of applications. From the inception of DART-MS forensic applications have been researched with demonstrations ranging from drugs of abuse to inorganic gunshot residue to printer inks to insect identification. This article presents a review of research demonstrating the use of DART-MS for forensically relevant samples over the past five years. To provide more context, background on the technique, sampling approaches, and data analysis methods are presented along with a discussion on the potential future and research needs of the technology.

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