Detection of piperonal emitted from polymer controlled odor mimic permeation systems utilizing Canis familiaris and solid phase microextraction-ion mobility spectrometry

Forensic Sci Int. 2010 Feb 25;195(1-3):132-8. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.12.006. Epub 2009 Dec 30.


Currently, in the field of odor detection, there is generally a wider variation in limit of detections (LODs) for canines than instruments. The study presented in this paper introduces an improved protocol for the creation of controlled odor mimic permeation system (COMPS) devices for use as standards in canine training and discusses the canine detection thresholds of piperonal, a starting material for the illicit drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), when exposed to these devices. Additionally, this paper describes the first-ever reported direct comparison of solid phase microextraction-ion mobility spectrometry (SPME-IMS) to canine detection for the MDMA odorant, piperonal. The research presented shows the reliability of COMPS devices as low cost field calibrants providing a wide range of odorant concentrations for biological and instrumental detectors. The canine LOD of piperonal emanating from the 100 ng s(-1) COMPS was found to be 1 ng as compared to the SPME-IMS LOD of piperonal in a static, closed system at 2 ng, with a linear dynamic range from 2 ng to 11 ng. The utilization of the COMPS devices would allow for training that will reduce the detection variability between canines and maintain improved consistency for training purposes. Since both SPME and IMS are field portable technologies, it is expected that this coupled method will be useful as a complement to canine detection for the field detection of MDMA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzaldehydes*
  • Benzodioxoles*
  • Crime*
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Forensic Medicine / instrumentation*
  • Half-Life
  • Hallucinogens / chemical synthesis
  • Illicit Drugs / chemical synthesis
  • Law Enforcement
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / chemical synthesis
  • Odorants*
  • Solid Phase Microextraction
  • Spectrum Analysis


  • Benzaldehydes
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Hallucinogens
  • Illicit Drugs
  • piperonal
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine