Purdue University Graduate School
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Critical Comparison of Total Vaporization-Solid Phase Microextraction vs Headspace-Solid Phase Microextraction

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posted on 2021-08-05, 14:42 authored by Alexandra Michelle TrainAlexandra Michelle Train

Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) is a popular sampling technique that can be paired with Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). SPME-GC-MS is used in forensic chemistry due to its simplification of the sample preparation process. Headspace-Solid Phase Microextraction (HS-SPME) is a technique where the sample is heated to generate volatiles in the headspace of the vial. A SPME fiber is then inserted into the vial and the compounds in the headspace will bind to the fiber. Total Vaporization- Solid Phase Microextraction (TV-SPME) is a technique that is derived from the HS-SPME technique.

In Chapter 1, the critical comparison of HS-SPME and TV-SPME is discussed. Samples including marijuana, essential oils, and CBD oil were utilized to compare the two techniques. The compounds of interest in marijuana are the three main cannabinoids: cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The sample preparation and GC-MS parameters were kept the same for all samples to determine which SPME technique works best for these sample types and yielded the greatest sensitivity. It was found that HS-SPME shows greater sensitivity with CBN and equivalent sensitivity with essential oils, THC and CBD.

In Chapter 2, the detection of synthetic cannabinoids utilizing liquid-liquid injection as well as HS-SPME and TV-SPME is discussed. The detection of these compounds is important because this type of drug has become more prevalent in the United States because they can be chemically altered slightly so they still have the effects of a drug but can evade drug legislation. The detection of synthetic cannabinoids using liquid injection was found to be successful but detection using HS-SPME and TV-SPME was found to be unsuccessful.

In Chapter 3, the analyses of real and artificial saliva utilizing HS-SPME and TV-SPME is discussed. Determining the compounds present in real saliva and artificial saliva will be of importance for future research into determining if the presence of drugs in saliva can be analyzed with these techniques. The analyses of real and artificial saliva were found to be successful using HS-SPME, without derivatization, and TV-SPME, with and without derivatization. Many of the compounds present in the real saliva were detected and were confirmed to be compounds regularly found in saliva by other scientific literature.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Forensic and Investigative Sciences

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

John Goodpaster

Additional Committee Member 2

Nicholas Manicke

Additional Committee Member 3

Christine Picard

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