Everything leaves a trace. Forensic toxicology webinar series.

Hair is a very interesting matrix for forensic investigations: it can be collected less invasively than blood or urine and be stored easily. Not only can hair evidence be used for microscopic comparisons or provide a source of DNA, it also contains traces of used substances such as drugs of abuse, pharmaceuticals and toxicants. In addition, these compounds can be detected with a longer detection window compared to blood and urine. Where drugs of abuse in forensic investigations are conventionally detected using LC- or GC-MS(/MS) methods, recent developments in direct and ambient mass spectrometry have opened up the forensic field to exciting new possibilities. Over the last decade several ambient ionization techniques have been developed, which allow analysis of samples with (almost) no sample preparation. One of these ambient ionization techniques, Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART), has been explored for the analysis of intact locks of hair. The use of DART ionization results in fast analysis without the use of extensive sample preparation or matrix application.

In this webinar Wilco Duvivier PhD of Wageningen Univ. discusses this novel hair scan method using DART ionization in combination with the Q Exactive Orbitrap HRAM/MS to obtain valuable information regarding an individual’s past drug exposure within minutes.

For forensic use only.

About the presenter

Wilco Duvivier, Ph.D., Wageningen University

Wilco Duvivier received his MSc degree in Analytical Sciences from University of Amsterdam in 2011. After working in the analytical R&D department of DSM Food Specialties in Delft as a senior analyst for 1.5 years, he started his PhD at Wageningen University in April 2012 under supervision of Prof. Dr. Michel Nielen and Dr. Teris van Beek. His PhD research focused on both evidence-based evaluation of current hair analysis techniques and the development of new hair analysis methods using new, state-of-the-art, ambient ionization techniques. This research, aimed to strengthen the use of forensic hair evidence for court cases, has been documented in several peer-reviewed publications so far and led to a completed PhD thesis which he will defend in July 2016.