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Forensic Applications of DART-MS: A Review of Recent Literature



Edward Sisco, Thomas Forbes


The need for rapid chemical analyses and new analytical tools in forensic laboratories continues to grow due to case backlogs, difficult to analyze cases, and identification of previously unseen materials such as new psychoactive substances. To adapt to these needs the forensics community has been pursuing the use of ambient ionization mass spectrometry, and more specifically direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS) for a wide range of applications. From its initial inception as one of the first ambient ionization techniques, forensic applications of DART-MS have been researched with demonstrations ranging from drugs of abuse to inorganic gunshot residue to printer inks and insect identification. This article presents a review of research demonstrating the use of DART-MS for forensically relevant samples over the past five years. To provide more context, background information and a discussion on the potential future and research needs of the technology are also presented.
Forensic Chemistry


DART-MS, Direct Analysis in Real Time, Mass Spectrometry, Forensic Science


Sisco, E. and Forbes, T. (2021), Forensic Applications of DART-MS: A Review of Recent Literature, Forensic Chemistry, [online],, (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created June 17, 2021, Updated October 14, 2021