New publication in Forensic Science International: Rapid Analysis of Gunshot Residues with Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry


A single gunshots produces thousands of micro- and nanoparticles. These particles can be lifted from a suspects skin or clothes and identified via elemental fingerprints to confirm a shooter. Robert Brünjes and colleagues from EDGE have developed a novel approach to collect gunshot residues through surfactant-assisted washing and to analyse and categorise more and even smaller particles then even automated electron microscopy allows. This was only possible by using single-particle inductively-coupled plasma time-of-flight mass spectrometry, a nascent technology for nanoparticle research. They were able to collect multi-dimensional data that might enable more specific forensic deduction in the future such as identifying the type of gun or cartridge used.