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Keywords:

  • Raman spectroscopy;
  • forensic identification;
  • peripheral blood;
  • menstrual blood;
  • statistics

Abstract

Body fluids are a common and important type of forensic evidence. In particular, the identification of menstrual blood stains is often a key step during the investigation of rape cases. Here, we report on the application of near-infrared Raman microspectroscopy for differentiating menstrual blood from peripheral blood. We observed that the menstrual and peripheral blood samples have similar but distinct Raman spectra. Advanced statistical analysis of the multiple Raman spectra that were automatically (Raman mapping) acquired from the 40 dried blood stains (20 donors for each group) allowed us to build classification model with maximum (100%) sensitivity and specificity. We also demonstrated that despite certain common constituents, menstrual blood can be readily distinguished from vaginal fluid. All of the classification models were verified using cross-validation methods. The proposed method overcomes the problems associated with currently used biochemical methods, which are destructive, time consuming and expensive. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)