Evaluation of LDTD for High Throughput Analysis of Controlled Substances published by RTI International

The Final Report: Evaluation of Laser Diode Thermal Desorption (LDTD) for High Throughput Analysis of Controlled Substances and Toxicology in Forensic Sciences, authored by RTI International, submitted through a grant from U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice (Washington, DC) is available at https://ncjrs.gov.

Evaluation of the LDTD coupled with triple quadrupole (QQQ) MS for the high-throughput quantitative analysis of controlled substances and drug toxicology in forensic laboratories. One hundred eleven drugs of abuse were optimzed in methanolic drug solutions (e.g. designer drugs, controlled substances).

The LDTD  coupled with MS, has demonstrated its applicability in other scientific areas by proiding data comparable to traditionally used instrumentation, such as liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), in less than half of the time without the need for commonly used laboratory consumables such as analytical columns.  In fact, the LDTD was able to analyze a large number of samples in ~ 12 sec per sample.

Numerous advantages of the LDTD system referenced include: Quick installation, little instrument training, no additional software requirement, ease of use, minimal maintenance, rapid sample analysis, minimal sample volume, lack of chromatographic solvents and consumables, the ability to use across multiple MS platforms.


As new generation MS push the frontiers of technology even further with significant increases in resolution, sensitivity, selectivity and faster scan times, the LDTD directly benefits from these advances by becoming an evergrowing analytical tool in the process.   Recent advances in Ion Mobility devices also have permitted a new step forward in an otherwise ‘’shotgun’’ direct sample introduction technique, by allowing ion separation based on the molecule’s mobility characteristics through a buffer gas. This type of non-chromatographic separation increases the possibilities of molecules analyzed by LDTD coupled to MS/MS systems.