400 Nanomanipulation-Coupled to Nanospray Mass Spectrometry in Forensic Applications: A Direct Sampling Method

Friday, November 6, 2009: 11:05 AM
Kohlberg (Camino Real Hotel)
Guido F. Verbeck, INVITED SPEAKER , Department of Chemistry, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
The advent of small volume analysis with mass spectrometry has opened the door to investigation of micron and submicron analytes, and bringing the sampling directly to the area of interest.  The nanomanipulator is a multistage bioworkstation consisting of a four-positioner system that has been directly coupled with nanospray mass spectrometry.  This coupling allows for new significant applications developments in the areas of trace and document analysis within the forensic field.  This technique has been applied to trace fiber analysis and electrostatic lifts for illicit drugs, as well as document and painting analysis.  The low detection limits and sample volumes make nanospray ionization-mass spectrometry the ideal instrument for trace analysis.  This technique is initially demonstrated by dissolving an electrostatic particle of cocaine from a fiber and lift, collecting the analyte solution in a nanospray tip, and transferring the tip directly to the mass spectrometer to complete analysis. The second application demonstrated is applied to document analysis.  The importance of leaving minimal “footprints” behind to retain the integrity of the document is one of the most advantageous benefits of this technique.  Inks, as well as, paints and pigments will be analyzed, illustrating the minimal damage to the document during analysis. The utility of this technique is evident through the minimal sample preparation and short analysis time. The technique presented here could improve on current trace particulate analysis and document analysis by reducing both detection limits and sample size required to complete analysis.