This study comparing the use of a mobile LIBS instrument to detect inorganic gunshot residue (GSR) with the use of a previously validated laboratory instrument obtained accuracies better than 98.8% by both instruments, demonstrating the suitability of both instruments for trace IGSR detection from skin specimens.
This study compares the use of a mobile LIBS instrument to detect inorganic gunshot residue (GSR) with the use of a previously validated laboratory instrument. Accuracies better than 98.8% were obtained by both instruments, demonstrating their suitability for trace IGSR detection from skin specimens. Implementation of this methodology is anticipated to drastically speed up response times (i.e., from several hours per sample by standard SEM-EDS practice to a few minutes by LIBS). The mobile LIBS is designed with advanced configurations specifically for on-site GSR analysis, including a CMOS detector and a sampling chamber that holds up to six typical GSR collection devices with separate gas flow ports to prevent cross-contamination. A significant novelty of the portable instrument is its image magnification, which allows quick searching and visualization of GSR particle morphology. The single-particle imaging and elemental composition capability is one of a kind and offers superior confirmatory features for GSR. The mobile LIBS performance was evaluated for residues collected from the hands of shooters (100 samples) and non-shooters (200 background samples), analyzed sequentially by the mobile instrument and then the laboratory instrument. The screening methods can be easily incorporated into workflows to improve decision-making processes at the crime scene and laboratory settings, reduce backlogs, and improve case management. (Published Abstract Provided)
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