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Development of Modern Microcrystal Tests for Controlled Drugs, Diverted Pharmaceuticals, and Bath Salts

There are a number of controlled substances for which there are presently no known microcrystal tests. This project seeks to research and develop new microcrystal tests and methodologies from a selection of 12 controlled drugs, diverted pharmaceuticals, or bath salts. These 12 drugs will be tested with 37 different reagents. Those that produce microcrystal test results will be added to the free PDF publication from McCrone Research Institute: A Modern Compendium of Microcrystal Tests for Illicit-Drugs and Diverted Pharmaceuticals, which is currently available in the latest edition at

The new microcrystal tests and procedures resulting from this research will be vetted, developed, and appraised by forensic research and senior research microscopists at McCrone Research Institute in Chicago, with voluntary collaboration from selected forensic scientists in other laboratories. Each newly discovered microcrystal test will include recommended reagents, test methods, crystal morphology, test notes, drug interactions, photomicrographs, illustrations, infrared spectra of microcrystals, potential interferences, and polarized light microscopy (PLM) optical properties of the resultant microcrystals.

This project is supported by Award No. 2016-IJ-CX-K010, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of McCrone Research Institute and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.