Analyzing illicit drugs such as methamphetamine can be complicated because the drugs break down when heated in gas chromatographs. National Institute of Justice-funded scientists from Purdue University sought to improve the analysis of thermally unstable drugs through a combination of derivatization and a novel total vaporization solid phase microextraction (TV-SPME) technique. The researchers, led by chemist John Goodpaster, analyzed 33 drugs and drug variants to compare standard liquid injections to the novel TV-SPME method. They found that drugs such as amphetamine, 2C-I (a psychedelic), and lorazepam could be identified with TV-SPME directly. However, other drugs could not and required an additional derivatization step. The derivatization was done using a modification of the solid phase microextraction in which chemical compounds were collected on a special fiber and then vaporized.