Forensic Analysis

Techniques > HPTLC and TLC > Forensic Analaysis

Forensic analysis is the application of scientific methods and techniques to aid the investigation of crime; which makes it a very diverse subject area! There are many applications in this field where HPTLC has some potential. 


HPTLC lends itself well to the separation of an analyte from a biological matrix. Quick and efficient drugs testing from blood and urine samples is required in situations such as driving offences, doping control for athletes and regulated work places. HPTLC is a technique that is well suited to this type of testing as samples would require minimal preparation and multiple samples can be run on the same plate in parallel resulting in a quick turnaround time. Also, HPTLC can be used for identification and confirmation of bulk material drug testing. Both of these tests can be done on one HPTLC plate. Identification based upon the RF value and UV spectrum of the drug, followed by confirmation of the structure by eluting the band directly from the TLC plate using the TLC-MS interface. Also, any other additives or adulterants of the bulk material will be present on the plate.


The analysis of inks is an important area in forensic analysis in the identification of forged bank notes and documents. Being able to compare and identify inks is a useful tool. TLC has always been a standard technique for determining ink composition but now using the controlled and standardised methodologies of HPTLC, comparison and identification of inks it is a much more credible.


A new area of forensic analysis to be investigated by CAMAG is the identification and quantification of explosives. A simple and robust method for the separation, detection and quantification of a mixture of explosive compounds has been proposed with an application note to follow.

Featured Application Note
Identification and quantification of cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa

 Visit the CAMAG website for an extensive list of HPTLC application notes!