Analysis Comparison of Street Fentanyl
During an incident at a suburban residence, a local HazMat team seized a small sample of what appeared to be street fentanyl. After an independent laboratory verified the presence of fentanyl, we were asked to participate in a technology comparison. We evaluated the effectiveness of three portable techniques: Raman, FT-IR, and high-pressure mass spectrometryTM (HPMS).
Identification of fentanyl and its analogs is typically conducted using a library-based search that compares an unknown field sample to a set of known, previously measured compounds. If no library match is found, law enforcement officers have no immediate way to determine if a material is harmless, or if it is a new fentanyl variant which poses a very dangerous exposure risk. With 2000+ possible fentanyl variants, reliable library-based identification is next to impossible in the long term.
908 Devices has measured a broad range of fentanyl analogs with the MX908’s Drug Hunter mode and identified predictable mass fragment loss patterns leading to the development of predictive classification algorithms that can recognize the molecular structure of more than 2000 previously undetectable fentanyl analogs. Up to 75% of novel analogs were detected in independent testing with several government partners on standards and street level drug substances. This advance provides an alert to law enforcement officials in minutes to a previously undetectable threat.