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Chromatography Applications In Forensics

Mar 29, 2022

Imagine that you are watching CSI, and the lab technicians run a sample by GC-MS or HPLC in order to get the answer and catch the bad guy.

That is an example of a chromatography application in forensics.

Forensic labs for decades have relied primarily on GC-MS (gas chromatography mass spectroscopy aka GC-mass spec) to identify unknowns.  These days they are using HPLC in forensics more and more.

Gas Chromatography Applications in Forensics

So whether we are looking for alcohol in blood ( a GC headspace application), for drugs in blood (a GC mass spec application). or for gasoline or another accelerant in samples from a fire and to determine if arson was the cause – these are all applications of gas chromatography in forensic science. 

Why is this so important?

If you want to accuse someone – a US citizen – of a crime, you need to prove that.  The burden of proof is on the state. 

So those of you who work in the forensic labs, you play a very important role in this justice system, because it is your job to make sure that the substance is truly present and to quantify the amount.

So in other words, we can’t just put someone in jail based on suspicion.  We need to have evidence, we must have data.  And that data needs to be real. It can’t just be, ‘ I think that it’s probably cocaine.  It looks like cocaine to me.’  No, it has to be certain. That is where chromatography and mass spectrometry join forces.  So we have high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) applications in forensics.  We also have gas chromatography and GC mass spectrometry (GC-MS) applications in forensic science.

We’ve helped a lot of people in the forensic industry.  I am happy to say that every region of the DEA (United States Drug Enforcement Agency) has sent their scientists here to Axion Labs. We’ve been doing this for twenty years. We’ve helped a lot of those folks and we would love to help you as well., 

Are you trying to develop a HPLC application for forensics?  Do you need hands-on gas chromatography training?

Do you need assistance with a gas chromatography mass spectrometry application?  Whatever the case we would love to help and to see you at a future class.

If you have forensic questions, forensic problems, please contact us and let us know. 

Become an HPLC & GC Expert

Check out our Virtual Classes or hands-on courses