Forensics & Toxicology

Forensics is a general term for scientific and technical work performed in the investigation of criminal and civil cases. Some of the aims pursued in forensics are the identification, analysis, and reconstruction of criminal acts.

Toxicology, on the other hand, examines the health-harming effects of individual chemical substances or mixtures of substances on the organism to predict possible hazards and estimate the risks in the event of a given or assumed exposure to the chemical substance.

Toxicology largely involves samples from organ tissue or bodily fluids such as urine, blood, or saliva. The (in some cases extensive) sample preparation steps required for these samples can be automated with the GERSTEL MultiPurpose Sampler (MPS), which provides many options, such as liquid handling, centrifuging, filtration, and various extraction techniques. If the results of this analysis are pertinent to a legal case, such as the analysis of drug samples, the relevant term is ‘forensic toxicology.’

Besides toxicology, forensic analysis covers issues such as document forgery and product counterfeiting or who caused an accident. These investigations can require the examination of materials such as paper, paint residue or plastics. In such cases, techniques based on GERSTEL thermal desorption systems such as thermal extraction, dynamic headspace (DHS) or Gerstel pyrolysis are used in automated processes.