Development of visual peak selection system based on multi-ISs normalization algorithm to apply to methamphetamine impurity profiling

Hun Joo Lee, Eunyoung Han, Jaesin Lee, Heesun Chung, Sung Gi Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to improve resolution of impurity peaks using a newly devised normalization algorithm for multi-internal standards (ISs) and to describe a visual peak selection system (VPSS) for efficient support of impurity profiling. Drug trafficking routes, location of manufacture, or synthetic route can be identified from impurities in seized drugs. In the analysis of impurities, different chromatogram profiles are obtained from gas chromatography and used to examine similarities between drug samples. The data processing method using relative retention time (RRT) calculated by a single internal standard is not preferred when many internal standards are used and many chromatographic peaks present because of the risk of overlapping between peaks and difficulty in classifying impurities. In this study, impurities in methamphetamine (MA) were extracted by liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) method using ethylacetate containing 4 internal standards and analyzed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID). The newly developed VPSS consists of an input module, a conversion module, and a detection module. The input module imports chromatograms collected from GC and performs preprocessing, which is converted with a normalization algorithm in the conversion module, and finally the detection module detects the impurities in MA samples using a visualized zoning user interface. The normalization algorithm in the conversion module was used to convert the raw data from GC-FID. The VPSS with the built-in normalization algorithm can effectively detect different impurities in samples even in complex matrices and has high resolution keeping the time sequence of chromatographic peaks the same as that of the RRT method. The system can widen a full range of chromatograms so that the peaks of impurities were better aligned for easy separation and classification. The resolution, accuracy, and speed of impurity profiling showed remarkable improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


  • Impurity profiling
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methamphetamine impurity profiling
  • Normalization algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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