In recent years, it has become possible to obtain a wide range of toxic substances easily over the Internet. This has led to a rise in the number of poisoning-related accidents and incidents. There have been numerous accidents involving the illegal substances known as “loophole drugs,” and the misuse of toxic substances is now a significant social problem.
There have also been a number of recent incidents of staged accidents, such as the use of sleeping pills to make a murder appear to be an accident. In many cases, a death that was apparently due to accident or disease may in fact have indirectly involved the use of toxic substances. The toxicological analyses performed in conjunction with an autopsy are exceptionally useful in discerning whether a toxic substance was involved in the cause of death.
In the field of forensic toxicology, we are involved in a variety of analyses and studies concerning toxic substances, focused on the practice of toxicological analysis associated with autopsies, such as:
・ the investigation of novel methods of sample preprocessing and toxicological analysis;
・ research on post-mortem changes (post-mortem redistribution) of the concentration of drugs in biological samples; and
・ research on "loophole drugs" and other illegal drugs.
Our dynamic activities have recently included efforts to collaborate with departments of legal medicine in other universities, with the objective of standardizing toxicological analysis in the field of forensic toxicology; and, we are also working hard to train toxicological analysts.
Education and Research Center of Legal Medicine, Chiba University is well equipped with the essential devices for toxicological analysis, including GC/MS, LC/MS/MS, and an LC/QTOF-MS installed in February 2014. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have an interest in toxins or instrumental analysis. We also welcome contact from other research institutions and departments that would be interested in collaborating with Education and Research Center of Legal Medicine, Chiba University in toxicological analysis.