Volume: 9

Issue: 34


This is a Special Issue on Forensic Analytical Chemistry with an Editorial titled “Forensic analytical chemistry: Connecting science and justice” by Prof. Dr. Márcia A. M. S. da Veiga; Interview with Prof. Dr. Barry Logan, a prominent toxicologist and forensic analytical chemist; Point of View “Forensic Analysis of Artworks: More than a (Complex) Analytical Issue” by Marcus V. O. Andrade, M.Sc., a senior forensic expert working for the Brazilian Federal Police; Letter “New trends in analytical chemistry for the examination and interpretation of traces of crimes” by Jesus Antonio Velho, PhD, a Federal Criminal Expert; 4 Reviews, 8 Articles and 1 Technical Note; and a Feature on the National Institute of Criminalistics.

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Forensic analytical chemistry: Connecting science and justice

Márcia A. M. S. da Veiga
Associate Professor in the Dept. of Chemistry, Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences, and Letters of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil

“Currently, analytical chemistry is … an interdisciplinary area that involves notions of biology, toxicology, statistics, computer science, and physics, among others.”

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Barry Logan, a prominent toxicologist and forensic analytical chemist, kindly spoke about his research into drugs of abuse, the legacy and inspiration for future generations

Barry Logan, PhD
F-ABFT, Chief Scientist NMS Labs, Executive Director at CFSRE, and Adjunct Professor at Thomas Jefferson University, US

“The idea of learning by doing experiments, discovering things, putting individual results together to answer bigger questions was very appealing to me.”

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Point of View

Forensic Analysis of Artworks: More Than a (Complex) Analytical Issue

Marcus V. O. Andrade, M.Sc.
Forensic Expert at Brazilian Federal Police, MG, Brazil

“The authorship or authenticity determination of a painting is based on a triangle formed by three disciplines: art history, preservation sciences, and materials sciences.”

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New trends in analytical chemistry for the examination and interpretation of traces of crimes

Jesus Antonio Velho, PhD
Federal Criminal Expert, Doctoral Professor at the University of São Paulo and Guest Professor at the Federal Police Academy, Brazil

“Forensic chemistry is one of the most far-reaching areas within the forensic science field. Therefore, knowledge in chemistry is indispensable to solve crimes.”

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Forensic Analysis of Illicit Drugs and Novel Psychoactive Substances in Wastewater: A review of toxicological, chemical and microbiological aspects
Eduardo Geraldo de Campos, Elaine Cristina Pereira De Martinis, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis

A comprehensive and interdisciplinary review of the forensic, toxicological, chemical and microbiological aspects of the analysis of “traditional” drugs of abuse and NPS in wastewater and examples of applications reported in recently published papers is provided.

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Chemometric Approaches in Questioned Documents
Roberta Petry Gorziza, Marina González, Carina Maria Bello de Carvalho, Rafael Scorsatto Ortiz, Marco Flores Ferrão, Renata Pereira Limberger

This review summarized and discussed multivariate analysis techniques applied in different questioned documents sub-areas, highlighting the importance of this knowledge for forensic analysts. In addition, it shows new research topics such as different printing and pen inks, papers and security documents analysis herein not included.

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Analytical Challenges for Identification of New Psychoactive Substances: A literature-based study for seized drugs
Aline Thais Bruni, Caio Henrique Pinke Rodrigues, Christiano dos Santos, Jade Simões de Castro, Livia Salviano Mariotto, Luiz Felipe Colli Sinhorini

The main characteristics of five NPS groups and certain aspects of presumptive and confirmatory tests regarding these groups are presented. Our findings show obstacles in developing methodologies that can correctly identify these substances, and problems can increase as new structures appear.

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Promising Applications of Additive-Manufactured (3D-printed) Electrochemical Sensors for Forensic Chemistry
Sílvia V. F. Castro, Raquel G. Rocha, Afonso F. João, Eduardo M. Richter, Rodrigo A. A. Munoz

The recent contribution of 3D-printing technology on the development of electrochemical sensors with great promises for on-site analysis in “real-world” forensic scenarios are highlighted. From the detection of trace explosives, gunshot residues, illicit drugs and chemical threats, to the measurement of adulterants in food and fuels, the wide range of applications that 3D-printed electrochemical sensors have been proposed are discussed.

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Development of Carbon Paste Electrode Chemically Modified with Schiff Base Complexes for Forensic Analysis of Cocaine
Ana Beatriz Defendi da Silva, Alex Soares Castro, Marcelo Firmino de Oliveira

In this study, new carbon paste electrodes chemically modified with a Schiff base complex were developed. The electrochemical activity of cocaine hydrochloride on the surface of these electrodes was studied. These electrodes were assessed as voltammetric sensors for cocaine hydrochloride detection and quantification, with a view to their application in the analysis of seized cocaine samples.

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Use of Paper Microdevices in the Identification and Quantification of Cocaine in Seized Street Samples
Jadson Zeni dos Reis, Wanderson Romão

Paper microfluidics were developed to perform the modified Scott test to calculate the cocaine hydrochloride content in seized samples of cocaine and crack. A smartphone with the Photometrix® app was used to construct a model for quantifying the samples. A factorial model was developed to optimize microfluidic analytical parameters. Chemometric tools were used to assess the similarity among the seized cocaine samples.

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Chromatographic Analysis of Byproducts from a Non-Toxic Ammunition and a Marked Ammunition: An Assessment of Toxicity
Aline Marcelino Arouca, Maurício Leite Vieira, Márcio Talhavini, Ingrid Távora Weber

This work focused on identification of volatile products that can be inhaled by shooter when firing which represents health risk by exposition. For the NTA ammunition, several toxic compounds such as benzonitrile and naphthalene were found. Moreover, as some of the compounds found are classified as GSR indicators, the used methodology could be adapted for GSR identification.

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Facing the Forensic Challenge of Cannabis Regulation: A Methodology for the Differentiation between Hemp and Marijuana Samples / Presumptive and confirmatory methods for hemp and marijuana analysis
Virgínia Martins Carvalho, Fernando Gomes de Almeida, Andrey Fabiano Lourenço de Aguiar, Fernanda Cardoso dos Santos Pereira, Ernesto Díaz Rocha

A methodology based on presumptive and confirmatory methods to differentiate the two principal chemovars of Cannabis genus plants (CBD-rich and THC-rich) was proposed. A color test and a validated HPLC method were applied to six cannabis samples cultivated by patients with judicial authorization. The methodology proved to be useful for forensic purposes and for quality control of medical cannabis.

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Trends in scientific communication and continuing education in Forensic Sciences during the pandemic of COVID-19: The role of virtual conferences and experiences of the 2020 Online Congress of the Brazilian Society of Forensic Sciences
Eduardo Geraldo de Campos, Daniel Junqueira Dorta, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis

The benefits and potentials of virtual conferences in Forensic Sciences in promoting scientific communication, accessibility, diversity and continuing education is discussed. The experiences obtained with virtual scientific meetings in 2020 have shown that these formats are very promising and important, and should be increasingly incorporated in future scientific meetings.

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Development and Evaluation of two different Electronic Tongues aiming to the Discrimination of Cutting Agents found in Cocaine Seized Samples
Thalita Guedes Silva, Thiago Regis Longo Cesar da Paixão

The development and applications of two different e-tongues on the profiling study of cocaine seized samples were presented. The paper-based colorimetric sensor was fabricated in the lab using chromatographic paper as a substrate, wax printing to produce spot zones of reactions, a smartphone as image detection, and an editing image software to extract the chemical information through RBG values.

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Activated Charcoal Pellets as an Innovative Method for Forensic Analysis of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris by GC-MS
Lais Helena Picolo Bueno Carmona, Eduardo Geraldo Campos, Vitor Luiz Caleffo Piva Bigão, Ana Luiza Cubas Pereira, Flávia Duarte Maia, Laiza Silva Telles, Bruno Spinosa De Martinis

An innovative method for extracting ignitable liquid residues from fire debris was proposed. The adsorption/extraction by activated charcoal pellets (ACP) is followed by hexane extraction and GC-MS analysis. ACP are an alternative to activated charcoal strips and have the advantages of reduced cost and rapid preparation in the lab. The ACP approach allowed all the target compounds selected for gasoline and diesel fuels to be extracted.

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Disposable Stencil-Printed Carbon Electrodes for Electrochemical Analysis of Sildenafil Citrate in Commercial and Adulterated Tablets
Danielly Santos Rocha, Habdias Araujo Silva-Neto, Laísa Cristina de Oliveira, Shellyda Gonçalves Guimarães Souza, Mário Henrique Palis Santana, Wendell Karlos Tomazelli Coltro

A compact electrochemical device containing working, reference and auxiliary electrodes was constructed in a single plastic platform using readily affordable materials like glass varnish and graphite powder. The electrode surface was characterized using scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, contact angle and electrochemical measurements. The forensic feasibility of the proposed approach was demonstrated...

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Technical Note

Quantitative analysis of Δ9-THC-COOH in Human Urine by the Liquid-Liquid Extraction technique and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry: Adaptation, Optimization and Validation
Kleber Ota de Oliveira, Deborah Thais Palma Scanferla, Jordana Quaglia Pereira da Silva, Mariana Aparecida Oliveira Madia, Erika Bando, Miguel Machinski Junior, Camila Marchioni, Simone Aparecida Galerani Mossini

This work aimed to validate an efficient, fast and low-cost technique for Δ9-THC-COOH analysis in urine with adaptations of existing analytical methods. The LLE-GC-MS technique proposed in this work combines the simplicity, speed and low cost of LLE together with the availability, low cost and effectiveness of GC-MS.

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BrJAC editors are grateful to all those who have reviewed papers in 2021 using significant time and effort to provide constructive inputs.

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National Institute of Criminalistics

The National Institute of Criminalistics of the Brazilian Federal Police conducts, standardizes and disseminates techniques and methodologies for analysis of the most diverse types of traces of criminal actions.

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Sponsor Reports

Analysis of Pharmaceutical Products for their Elemental Impurities with the Thermo Scientific iCAP RQ-MS
Julian Wills and Daniel Kutscher
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bremen, Germany

This report demonstrates the use of the Thermo Scientific™ iCAP™ RQ ICP-MS to accurately determine concentrations of elemental impurities in pharmaceutical products brought into solution using microwave digestion.

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Detection of Controlled Substances in Blood Samples using the VeriSpray Ion Source with TSQ Altis MS for Clinical Research and Forensic Toxicology
Greta Ren1, Nicholas Manicke1, Cornelia Boeser2, Neloni R. Wijeratne2
1Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN
2Thermo Fisher Scientific, San Jose, CA

The goal of this work was to develop a robust, sensitive, reliable, and reproducible PaperSpray-mass spectrometry workflow for detection of illicit drugs in blood for clinical research and forensic toxicology.

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Determination of Total Mercury in Clinical Matrices Utilizing Direct Analysis for Mercury Detection in Blood, Hair and Urine Samples

Direct mercury analysis was used successfully to determine total mercury in clinical matrices. This technique requires no sample preparation and delivers results in as little as six (6) minutes per sample.

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Sponsor Releases

Thermo Scientific iCAP RQ ICP-MS – Simplicity, productivity and robustness for routine labs

This innovative single quadrupole (SQ) ICP-MS is the ideal trace elemental analyzer for a wide range of several samples, simultaneously determining trace and macro level contaminants.

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Thermo Scientific™ VeriSpray™ PaperSpray Ion Source / The faster path to MS analysis

The VeriSpray ion source combined with next-generation Thermo Scientific™ mass spectrometers reduces time to results and cost per test with automated, high-throughput, direct mass spectrometry (MS)-based sample analysis. The VeriSpray ion source allows use of “dilute and shoot” methods to minimize solvent consumption and time-consuming sample preparation.

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Save Time — Go Direct for Mercury Analysis

The Milestone DMA-80 mercury determination system can analyze any matrix (solid, liquid or gas) without any pre-treatment or chemical additions in as few as 6 minutes in full compliance with EPA method 7473. With thousands of units installed, Milestone defines the benchmark for direct mercury determination in a wide range of industries: environmental, food energy, cement, cosmetics, agriculture, mining and petrochemical.

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Pittcon 2022 In-person was Canceled

Alternate options for presenting Pittcon 2022 are being explored. More details on this will be released as soon as they are finalized.

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SelectScience® Pioneers online Communication and Promotes Scientific Success

SelectScience® informs through Editorial, Q&A and Application Articles, Featured Topics, Event Coverage, Video and Webinars.

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CHROMacademy is the leading provider of eLearning for analytical science

For over 10 years, CHROMacademy has increased knowledge, efficiency and productivity across all applications of chromatography.

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