A statistical methodology for the comparison of blue gel pen inks analyzed by laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

Research paper by Céline C Weyermann, Lukas L Bucher, Paul P Majcherczyk

Indexed on: 06 Sep '11Published on: 06 Sep '11Published in: Science & Justice


A statistical methodology for the objective comparison of LDI-MS mass spectra of blue gel pen inks was evaluated. Thirty-three blue gel pen inks previously studied by RAMAN were analyzed directly on the paper using both positive and negative mode. The obtained mass spectra were first compared using relative areas of selected peaks using the Pearson correlation coefficient and the Euclidean distance. Intra-variability among results from one ink and inter-variability between results from different inks were compared in order to choose a differentiation threshold minimizing the rate of false negative (i.e. avoiding false differentiation of the inks). This yielded a discriminating power of up to 77% for analysis made in the negative mode. The whole mass spectra were then compared using the same methodology, allowing for a better DP in the negative mode of 92% using the Pearson correlation on standardized data. The positive mode results generally yielded a lower differential power (DP) than the negative mode due to a higher intra-variability compared to the inter-variability in the mass spectra of the ink samples.