Time-resolved fluorescence microscopy of gunshot residue: an application to forensic science


Damian K. Bird. Tel. +61 3 8344 6484; fax +61 3 9347 5180; e-mail: dbird@unimelb.edu.au


Time-resolved fluorescence microscopy has rapidly emerged as the technique of choice for many researchers aiming to gain specific insights into the dynamics of intricate biological systems. Although the unique advantages the technique provides over other methods have proven to be particularly useful in the biosciences, to date they have been largely unexploited by other research disciplines. In this paper, we demonstrate the capacity of time-resolved fluorescence microscopy as a practical analytical tool in the forensic sciences via the imaging of gunshot residues that are expelled when a firearm is discharged. This information may prove to be useful for determination of the true sequence of events that took place in a firearm related crime.