Peabody, Mass., February 9, 2006 – Since capturing the Editor’s Gold Award for best new product at Pittcon 2005, the DART™ direct analysis ion source has found some unusual applications that, prior to this new technology, would have been virtually impossible.
For example, fingerprints contain a great deal of chemical information that is not often exploited for forensic analysis. DART can detect and identify the chemical components of fingerprints, often providing information about specific substances a subject has been handling.
“There are few good ways to do this analysis that I know,” says Dr. Robert Cody, co-inventor of the DART. “You can wash or scrape off some material and run conventional mass spec methods, or you can use infrared to detect functional groups. IR is not very good for specific compound ID in complex mixtures, however.”
DART analysis of a single fingerprint made on a glass vial after touching an aspirin/oxycodone table (Figure 1) shows that the aspirin and oxycodone are readily detected, along with minoxidil (hair-loss treatment), amino acids, fatty acids, urea, lactic acid, squalene, cholestadiene, and the common plasticizer BEHP bis(ethylhexylphthalate). Other lipids can be detected at higher masses. In a separate experiment, 1 microgram of TNT could still be detected after 52 impressions of a thumbprint on plastic. The FBI will present an oral and a poster session on forensic applications during Pittcon 2006, and the EPA will present a poster on an ion correlation program for deconvoluting composite mass spectra using DART.
DART has also changed the course of mass spectrometry for analysis of materials such as inks, paints, fibers, plastics, rubber tires, bandages, and packaging materials. Because samples analyzed by the DART are preserved intact in virtually all instances, inks on the surface of a piece of paper can be analyzed without altering the document in any way.
Rapid screening for impurities or metabolites is easily done without time-consuming sample preparation, the subject of a poster session presented by Robert Cody, DART co-inventor James Laramee (SAIC), and Michael Nilles (SAIC). In the same session, Dr. Facundo Fernandez of Georgia Institute of Technology will present a talk on Direct Ionization of Real Samples in Open Air for Mass Spectrometry: The Case of Counterfeit Antimalarial Drugs.
Direct analysis frees the “impatient” mass spectrometrist from time-consuming sample preparation. The DART is a unique source that operates at ambient pressure in open air, making it versatile for countless applications described in a new applications notebook from JEOL.
The DART is now in operation at government, industry, and academic labs and is the topic of six presentations at Pittcon 2006 and an upcoming article in the Journal of Forensic Science. Dart was awarded the U.S. Patent # 6,949,741 in 2005, and was also the winner of the R&D 100 Award as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year.
DART will be demonstrated live in the JEOL booth # 2133 in the Orange County Convention Center, West Building, Orlando, Florida, March 13th through 16th, 2006, and will be the subject of the following six presentations or posters during the technical sessions:
- Sunday, March 12 – 2:15 – Symposium -- Session 10
Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART): Mass Spectrometry for the Impatient – Cody (JEOL), Laramee (SAIC), Nilles (SAIC)
- Sunday, March 12 – 3:05 – Symposium -- Session 10
Direct Ionization of Real Samples in Open Air for Mass Spectrometry: The Case of Counterfeit Antimalarial Drugs – Fernandez (Georgia Inst. of Technology), Leung, de Jesus, Green, Newton
- Tuesday, March 14 – 11:05 – Organized Contributed Session – Session 830
Rapid Screening for Metabolites in Body Fluids by Direct Analysis in Real Time Coupled with Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry – Cody (JEOL), Laramee (SAIC), Nilles
- Tuesday, March 14 – Afternoon – Poster Session 1290
An Ion Correlation Program for Deconvoluting Composite Mass Spectra Acquired Using a Direct Surface Ionization Source Interfaced to a Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer – Grange (EPA), Cody (JEOL), Sovocool (EPA)
- Thursday, March 16 – Morning – Poster Session 2100
Applications with Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Mass Spectrometer of Forensic Interest – Leibowitz (FBI), Jagerdeo, Schumacher, LeBeau
- Wednesday, March 15 – 2:30 – Oral Session 1700
Rapid Sample Analysis with Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART Source) Coupled to Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer: Forensic Applications – Jagerdeo (FBI), Leibowitz, Clark, Schumacher, LeBeau