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Seminars Archive

Application of Vibrational Spectroscopy for Forensic purposes: From the Lab to the Crime Scene

Igor Lednev (University at Albany, State University of New York, USA)
Tue 17 Mar, at 15:30 - Seminar Room T1

Forensic science is intimately involved in judicial systems, and as such it must be completely objective and reliable. It would also be ideal for analyses to be automated and cost-effective to maximize efficiency. Raman and infrared (IR) spectroscopy are becoming increasingly more popular in forensic science. Both methods are nondestructive, rapid, quantitative, and confirmatory. Raman spectroscopy, in particular, is known for its intrinsically selective nature. These qualities, along with their automated capabilities, make Raman and IR spectroscopy preferred techniques according to the requirements outlined in 2009 National Academy of Sciences’ review. Most recent progress in the application of vibrational spectroscopy for forensic purposes is discussed review article.3 The current presentation will be focused on the development of new methods for the identification of biological stains and gunshot residue (GSR). The identification of traces of body fluids discovered at a crime scene is a major part of forensic investigation today. The main problem with current tests is the destruction of the sample. The forensic community is in great need of a reliable, non-destructive, on-field method for identification of all common body fluids. We report here on the latest development of a new method for identification of body fluid traces using Raman spectroscopy combined with advanced statistics. Multidimensional Raman spectroscopic signatures of dry traces of sweat, vaginal fluid, semen, saliva, and blood were developed. The ability of identification of contaminated and/or mixed samples, differentiating menstrual and peripheral blood as well as determine species (human vs. animal) based on dry traces of blood will be discussed. Most recently, we have demonstrated a great potential of Raman spectroscopy for the phenotype profiling including the determination of race, sex and age of the donor based on dry traces of body fluids. The development of a novel and alternative method for detection, identification and discrimination of GSR will be also discussed. We implemented advanced statistics for differentiating experimental spectra collected from non-equivalent GSR samples. Specifically, the differentiation of GSR particles originating from two different ammunitions was achieved with high confidence. Automated Raman microspectroscopic mapping was utilized for GSR detection and identification on an adhesive tape used for GSR collection. Most recently, we developed a novel two-step method for the detection of organic GSR by fast fluorescence imaging followed by Raman microspectroscopic identification.

(Referer: B. Rossi)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 15:21