About this Research Topic
Canines are routinely used in law enforcement. Whether it is for detection of explosives or ignitable
liquids, survivors and victims of catastrophic events, smuggled goods (food, illicit drugs), and more. They
combine a rapid, sensitive sampling and detection system coupled to a powerful scent processing
system. With the advent of modern sampling and analysis tools for field and laboratory use, scientists are
finally able to meet and sometimes exceed the detection capabilities of canines in some situations. This
Research Topic will feature research into the abilities of our four-pawed detection partners and the
efforts of analytical scientists to identify and close the gaps between the capabilities of the laboratory and
detection canines. Get ready for the Lab(oratory) vs. Lab(rador)* showdown!
*Bloodhounds, Shepherds, Beagles, Collies, and other non-Labradors welcome.
The abilities of canines to selectively detect their targets in the midst of potentially confounding
background interferences is mind-blowing. We have routinely used canines to help with our
investigations and enforcement for years. Recently, improvements in technology for sampling and
concentrating volatile compounds, combined with improved methods for trace chemical detection /
identification and advances in chemometrics and machine learning have allowed laboratory scientists to
begin to match some of the capabilities of detection canines. In this Research Topic, we seek to bring the
latest research from both chemists and detection canine researchers together in one place. In addition to
being a very interesting collection with broad appeal, we hope the canine research will inspire the
chemists to improve their capabilities, while also connecting canine researchers with chemists who could
perhaps help them to explain and understand the phenomenal capabilities of detection canines.
We are seeking critical reviews and original research papers from both laboratory scientists studying trace
detection using scientific instrumentation and sensing platforms. If your research relies on VOC sampling
and detection/identification via chromatography and/or mass spectrometry; e-noses; spectroscopic
tools or other innovative sensing technologies, we will welcome your contributions. Likewise, if your
detection "platform" of choice has four-paws and a mind of its own, we are interested in your
contributions. We are interested in traditional forensic-type detection targets related to arson, explosives,
search-and-rescue, illicit drugs, conservation, and contraband detection as well as other areas where
canines are used for screening and detection including medical detection, bed bugs, molds, etc.
Keywords: Detection Canine, Trace Detection, Sampling, Explosives, Decomposition, Ignitable Liquids, VOCs, Illicit Drugs, Contraband, Search-and-Rescue, conservation
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.