Detection of organic gunshot residue using High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry
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Gunshot residue (GSR) has been analyzed in forensic laboratories since 1933 when the dermal nitrate test originated. (1) Detection and analysis of GSR has since developed with the invention and implementation of instrumentation. Since the 1960s, inorganic gunshot residue (IGSR) has been the primary focus for GSR analysis. (2) As disadvantages like omitting lead from ammunition and the transient properties of IGSR are researched, it is clear that a new approach is needed. Organic gunshot residue (OGSR) analysis has the potential to become the novel approach for GSR analysis because OGSR does not have the same transient properties as IGSR. (3) The compounds are lipophilic and are therefore more likely to remain on the shooter’s hands or face. (4) OGSR can be analyzed through a myriad of instrumentations, including High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry(HPLC/MS). Analysis with HPLC/MS allows for customizable mobile phases, gradients, columns, and ionization to ensure the complete detection of OGSR. Using a Shimadzu Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) coupled with an AB Sciex Q-Trap 4000 MS/MS, a method is optimized for the detection of Diphenylamine (DPA), Nitroglycerin (NG), and Ethyl Centralite (EC). The next steps for experimentation are summarized and include an elution study and a time-course study.