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FT-IR Spectroscopy for Identification of Biological Stains for Forensic Purposes

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages

This paper discusses the use of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy to identify biological stains for forensic purposes.


The authors of this paper provide an overview of the novel applications of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy for forensic analysis of body fluid traces, briefly overviewing recent studies on the identification and analysis of body fluid traces using FT-IR spectroscopy for forensic purposes. In addition to the confirmatory identification of the fluid type, this technique helps estimate the stain’s age, as well as discriminate species. The authors also describe the application of FT-IR spectroscopy to biological stains on various substrates and samples exposed to specific environmental conditions to imitate forensically relevant scenarios. Given the large variety of evidence that can be found at a crime scene, a universal method for initial screenings to determine what samples to collect and document for further analysis would be useful. Traces of body fluids are a crucial form of forensic evidence that provides information about potential suspects and victims. It is essential for the screening test to be nondestructive and preserve the evidence for further analysis. FT-IR spectroscopy is emerging as the technique of choice for nondestructive analysis of the chemical composition of unknown biological stains. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is a technique already being used during forensic investigations for analysis of physical evidence. A significant advantage of this technique is its nondestructive nature and specific signature for different sample types based on their chemical composition. The analysis of body fluids using vibrational spectroscopy for a wide spectrum of applications has also been reported. Novel methods for forensic body fluid identification and characterization, which include vibrational spectroscopy, have also been reviewed. Aforementioned review articles cover many topics, and prove that research using FT-IR spectroscopy for body fluid examination is rapidly growing. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2018