ATR FTIR spectroscopy for the forensic tracing of blood stain age
Bodily fluids are often some of the most critical pieces of evidence at a crime scene, and it is vital that they are correctly identified and analyzed to obtain as much information as possible. In particular, correct identification of the type of bodily fluid present is imperative in order to properly extract DNA from the sample. These fluids are usually found as stains on a variety of substrates under different environmental conditions. Establishing the time since deposition (TSD) of a stain can help determine if a sample is relevant to the crime and verify the alibis of any individuals involved.
Currently, the identification of bodily fluids is made with presumptive and confirmatory techniques which are non-specific and destructive. There is not one accepted technique for the estimation of TSD for bodily fluid stains. For these reasons, selective, non-destructive, and fast techniques, such as attenuated total-reflection Fouriertransform infrared spectroscopy (ATR FTIR), need to be investigated and validated for their use in forensic investigation. ATR FTIR can analyze very small stains without destroying them, allowing for subsequent analysis with complementary techniques.
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