Illicit and Counterfeit Drug Analysis by Morphologically Directed Raman Spectroscopy

  • Andrew C. Koutrakos
  • Pauline E. Leary
  • Brooke W. KammrathEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1810)


Morphologically directed Raman spectroscopy (MDRS) is a novel tool for the forensic analysis of illicit and counterfeit drug samples. MDRS combines Raman microspectroscopy with automated particle imaging so that physical and chemical information about the components of a mixture sample can be obtained. Results of automated particle imaging are used to determine samples for Raman analysis. The use of MDRS for these types of samples can be employed for both forensic investigations and adjudications of cases. The method provides insight about the physical and chemical composition of the sample, as well as about manufacturing and sample history. Here, MDRS was used in four different illicit and counterfeit drug analyses: (1) examination of a multicomponent drug mixture where the results could be used for comparative source attribution, (2) the detection of low (or trace) concentration particles in a drug sample, (3) the analysis of synthetic cathinone samples (i.e., bath salts), and (4) a study of counterfeit pharmaceutical products.

Key words

Morphologically directed Raman spectroscopy Illicit drug analysis Counterfeit pharmaceuticals Raman spectroscopy Automated particle imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew C. Koutrakos
    • 1
  • Pauline E. Leary
    • 1
  • Brooke W. Kammrath
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Forensic Science Department, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic SciencesUniversity of New HavenWest HavenUSA

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