Preliminary investigation of heroin fingerprinting using trace element concentrations

R. Myors, R. J. Wells, S. V. Skopec, P. Crisp, R. Iavetz, Z. Skopec, A. Ekangaki, J. Robertson

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Heroin samples [76 South East Asian (SEA), 20 non-South East Asian (non-SEA) and 92 of uncertain origin] were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for 73 elements. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) grouped together the SEA and many of the non-SEA subgroups, and grouped together elements with similar chemical properties. K-means cluster, correlation and principal component analyses supported the HCA. Logistic models were created using continuous, discrete and a combination of continuous and discrete elemental data in order to predict the SEA or non-SEA origin of samples. The predictive values of the models were 68-100%, the most successful models simultaneously using both continuous and discrete concentration data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Communications
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


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Myors, R., Wells, R. J., Skopec, S. V., Crisp, P., Iavetz, R., Skopec, Z., ... Robertson, J. (1998). Preliminary investigation of heroin fingerprinting using trace element concentrations. Analytical Communications, 35(12), 403-410.