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Application of ion mobility spectrometry for the detection of human urine.

Rudnicka J, Mochalski P, Agapiou A, Statheropoulos M, Amann A, Buszewski B - Anal Bioanal Chem (2010)

Bottom Line: Four compounds, namely 3-methyl-2-butanone, octanal, acetone and 2-heptanone, were found to permeate through the sand layers during all experiments.Moreover, their permeation times were the shortest.Although IMS can be considered as a potential technique suitable for the detection, localization and monitoring of VOCs evolved from human urine, further investigation is necessary prior to selecting field chemical methods for the early location of trapped victims.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Chemistry and Bioanalytics, Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 7 Gagarin St, 87100 Toruń, Poland.

ABSTRACT
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) for the detection of human urine as an indication of human presence during urban search and rescue operations in collapsed buildings. To this end, IMS with a radioactive ionization source and a multicapillary column was used to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from human urine. A study involving a group of 30 healthy volunteers resulted in the selection of seven volatile species, namely acetone, propanal, 3-methyl-2-butanone, 2-methylpropanal, 4-heptanone, 2-heptanone and octanal, which were detected in all samples. Additionally, a preliminary study on the permeation of urine volatiles through the materials surrounding the voids of collapsed buildings was performed. In this study, quartz sand was used as a representative imitating material. Four compounds, namely 3-methyl-2-butanone, octanal, acetone and 2-heptanone, were found to permeate through the sand layers during all experiments. Moreover, their permeation times were the shortest. Although IMS can be considered as a potential technique suitable for the detection, localization and monitoring of VOCs evolved from human urine, further investigation is necessary prior to selecting field chemical methods for the early location of trapped victims.

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The filling chamber. IMS ion mobility spectrometer
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Fig1: The filling chamber. IMS ion mobility spectrometer

Mentions: In the ruins of collapsed buildings, volatiles are carried out by air currents and spread as plumes throughout the rubble; these plumes are either constant or transient. Consequently, interactions of VOCs with the debris materials (e.g. dust, wood, plastic, glass) are expected to significantly modify the urine scent. In this context, the permeative properties of urine markers have a crucial influence on the success of the search and rescue operation. A preliminary study on this aspect was done with a filling chamber as presented in Fig. 1. The chamber consists of a stainless steel cylinder with an open upper end having an internal diameter of 102 mm and a height of 81 mm. Steel gauze (mesh size 1 mm) divides the chamber into two parts (each 40 mm high). The top part was loosely packed with mimicking debris quartz sand (Euroquarz, Germany) having a bulk density of 1.6 g/cm3 and a particle of density 2.65 g/cm3. Three sizes of grain were tested: 0.5–1 mm, 1–2 mm and 4–8 mm. In the wall of the bottom part, an additional rubber septum (Supelco, Canada) was installed. The bottom of the filling chamber was kept at 30–31 °C. At the onset of the experiment, 1 mL of urine sample was injected through the septum. Permeation of VOCs through the quartz sand was studied by the MCC/IMS analyses of the headspace samples taken approximately 1 cm above the sand layer in the direction of the central axis of the chamber. The time instants for drawing the samples were defined as follows: one sample was taken before the urine injection; the next ones were drawn every 10 min for 180 min. For each size of grain, five experiments with urine of different volunteers were performed.Fig. 1


Application of ion mobility spectrometry for the detection of human urine.

Rudnicka J, Mochalski P, Agapiou A, Statheropoulos M, Amann A, Buszewski B - Anal Bioanal Chem (2010)

The filling chamber. IMS ion mobility spectrometer
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2957577&req=5

Fig1: The filling chamber. IMS ion mobility spectrometer
Mentions: In the ruins of collapsed buildings, volatiles are carried out by air currents and spread as plumes throughout the rubble; these plumes are either constant or transient. Consequently, interactions of VOCs with the debris materials (e.g. dust, wood, plastic, glass) are expected to significantly modify the urine scent. In this context, the permeative properties of urine markers have a crucial influence on the success of the search and rescue operation. A preliminary study on this aspect was done with a filling chamber as presented in Fig. 1. The chamber consists of a stainless steel cylinder with an open upper end having an internal diameter of 102 mm and a height of 81 mm. Steel gauze (mesh size 1 mm) divides the chamber into two parts (each 40 mm high). The top part was loosely packed with mimicking debris quartz sand (Euroquarz, Germany) having a bulk density of 1.6 g/cm3 and a particle of density 2.65 g/cm3. Three sizes of grain were tested: 0.5–1 mm, 1–2 mm and 4–8 mm. In the wall of the bottom part, an additional rubber septum (Supelco, Canada) was installed. The bottom of the filling chamber was kept at 30–31 °C. At the onset of the experiment, 1 mL of urine sample was injected through the septum. Permeation of VOCs through the quartz sand was studied by the MCC/IMS analyses of the headspace samples taken approximately 1 cm above the sand layer in the direction of the central axis of the chamber. The time instants for drawing the samples were defined as follows: one sample was taken before the urine injection; the next ones were drawn every 10 min for 180 min. For each size of grain, five experiments with urine of different volunteers were performed.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Four compounds, namely 3-methyl-2-butanone, octanal, acetone and 2-heptanone, were found to permeate through the sand layers during all experiments.Moreover, their permeation times were the shortest.Although IMS can be considered as a potential technique suitable for the detection, localization and monitoring of VOCs evolved from human urine, further investigation is necessary prior to selecting field chemical methods for the early location of trapped victims.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Chemistry and Bioanalytics, Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 7 Gagarin St, 87100 Toruń, Poland.

ABSTRACT
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) for the detection of human urine as an indication of human presence during urban search and rescue operations in collapsed buildings. To this end, IMS with a radioactive ionization source and a multicapillary column was used to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from human urine. A study involving a group of 30 healthy volunteers resulted in the selection of seven volatile species, namely acetone, propanal, 3-methyl-2-butanone, 2-methylpropanal, 4-heptanone, 2-heptanone and octanal, which were detected in all samples. Additionally, a preliminary study on the permeation of urine volatiles through the materials surrounding the voids of collapsed buildings was performed. In this study, quartz sand was used as a representative imitating material. Four compounds, namely 3-methyl-2-butanone, octanal, acetone and 2-heptanone, were found to permeate through the sand layers during all experiments. Moreover, their permeation times were the shortest. Although IMS can be considered as a potential technique suitable for the detection, localization and monitoring of VOCs evolved from human urine, further investigation is necessary prior to selecting field chemical methods for the early location of trapped victims.

Show MeSH