Identification of Opioids and Related Substances using Handheld Raman Spectrometers.J Forensic Sci. 2020 Mar; 65(2):421-427.JF
This study describes the performance of handheld Raman devices for detecting one hundred opioids and related substances including fentanyl and several analogs. Using a single "parent" device, signatures (spectra) with excellent signal-to-noise ratios were generated using <5 mg of most compounds. The signatures were added to a method (library), which was electronically transferred to three "daughter" devices. The devices were able to discriminate different salt forms and isomers. On average, the daughter devices yielded a true-positive rate of 97.3% for generating an alarm for opioids and were 93.3% effective for correctly identifying the opioid. The devices yielded true-negative, false-positive and false-negative rates of 100%, 0%, and 2.7%, respectively, where false negatives were due to weak signal and fluorescence. These data demonstrate that the parent-daughter electronic transfer method was successful and effective, which permits the ability to develop methods in the laboratory that can be seamlessly pushed out to field devices.