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Body Fluid Analysis by Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Forensic Applications

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
11 pages
Findings and methodology are presented for a project whose major goal was to determine and develop the capabilities of an optically based laser-light scattering technique, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), for the detection, identification, and characterization of trace amounts of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and saliva for forensic purposes.

This report states that "the most valuable result of this project is the finding that SERS spectra can be used to quantitatively identify and distinguish different human body fluids stains." This procedure is faster than normal Raman and may offer a more robust statistical analysis procedure, since broad fluorescent background are absent and spectral differences are more readily evident; and one key additional attribute of SERS is sample sensitivity that further distinguishes this approach from normal Raman. Thus, these study results show that the incorporation of a SERS-based platform for forensic science investigations, both at crime scenes and in the laboratory, provides improved rapid identification of trace amounts of body fluids with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity. The study obtained SERS spectra for 24-hour dried stains of human blood, vaginal fluid, semen, saliva, and urine. 24 figures

Date Published: July 1, 2018