University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Poster Gallery



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Creation Date

Spring 4-3-2017


Forensic Science with a Concentration in Chmeistry






David D. Cunningham

Mentor Department



Drug abuse and manufacturing of methamphetamine remains a large problem. And, an unmet need exists for a rapid, non-destructive presumptive screening process to detect traces of this drug on clothing and other fabrics. Previous research focused on analysis using Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) mass spectrometry. Extraction of a trace drug was accomplished by cutting a glass microfiber filter into 12.5 mm discs. Six or twelve holes were punched into these 12.5 mm discs to allow the gas from the DART ionization source to flow through. A water-based solvent (35 μL) including an internal standard was added to cotton fabric swatches followed by the patterned disc to absorb the liquid. The disc was then mounted to a custom-made aluminum holder and placed in front of the DART ionization source where helium gas flowed through and mass spectra was generated. In the previous research, 12.5 mm glass microfiber membrane filter discs absorbed more than 50% of 35 μL of the water-based solvent from light-weight cotton fabric. Current research found that different volumes, between 10 μL and 45 μL of the water-based solvent, were needed to wet ≃12.5 mm diameters on different types of fabric. As expected, lighter weight fabrics required lower volumes and heavier weight fabrics required larger volumes. Results for the recovery of the solvent (and traces of drug) by the glass fiber membrane from various fabrics will be presented. Further research will incorporate the use of different patterns and the absorbance from different fabrics.