SinS - Abstract

Abstract Title: Development of a rapid LC-MS/MS method for explosive substances in complex matrices
Presenter Name: Dr Keng Tiong Ng
Co-authors:Dr Barron Leon
Company/Organisation: Imperial College London
Country: United Kingdom

Abstract Information :

Global high-profile terrorist attack incidents are often associated with explosive threat agents, such as military explosives, homemade explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Development of a rapid detection capability for these explosives is important, not only for their potential application as an early warning monitoring tool by law enforcement but also for forensic screening application such as samples collected from the crime scenes. As these chemical substances are often present at a very low concentrations in sample matrices, usually at ng/L range, sample concentration using solid phase extraction (SPE) is generally required. However, performing the sample pre-treatment steps can be very time-consuming and increasing the likelihood of introducing new contaminants during the SPE process. Therefore, a rapid analysis of explosive substances using liquid chromatography-tandam mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed without the need of extensive sample preparation or SPE. Using a biphenyl 30 x 3.0 mm, 2.7 m analytical column along with a short biphenyl 5 x 3 mm, 2.7 m biphenyl guard column, 29 different explosive substances were successfully identified under a 5 min rapid gradient, with only a 10 µL sample injection volume. The optimised interface voltage of mass spectrometry was determined to enable sufficient detection sensitivity and their later application on different complex environmental matrices, such as wastewater. Overall, this analytical method represents a much more efficient and rapid way to detect a range of different explosives present in different sample matrices and their versatile application in forensic area.