Applications of supercritical fluid extraction and chromatography in forensic science

Charlotte Radcliffe, Kristie Maguire, Brian Lockwood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Supercritical fluid technology is a rapidly expanding analytical technique. Here we give a brief insight into the background of supercritical fluid technology and how supercritical fluid extraction and supercritical fluid chromatography work in analysis. The applications of these two techniques in forensic science are known to be important. The main area of forensic use of supercritical fluid technology is in the sample preparation and separation of drugs of abuse particularly opiates, cannabinoids, cocaine and sedatives. Supercritical fluid technology can be used for both time-of- death-related drug analysis and for obtaining information relating to long term drug abuse. We also give a review of the use of supercritical fluids in two other major forensic areas, fingerprinting and the extraction and separation of explosives from both bombing events and gunshot residues. Overall we show that supercritical fluid technology is fast becoming a major part of forensic investigations and that it is an invaluable analysis technique. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-272
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Biochemical and Biophysical Methods
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2000


    • Cannabinoids
    • Cocaine
    • Drugs of abuse
    • Opiates
    • Sedatives
    • Supercritical fluid chromatography
    • Supercritical fluid extraction


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