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The Differentiation of Menstrual from Venous Blood and Other Body Fluids on Various Substrates Using ATR FT‐IR Spectroscopy

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Crime scene investigators and laboratory analysts use chemical tests to detect and differentiate body fluids. Testing often requires a sample of the stain, and the chemicals may cause degradation of the fluid or interfere with subsequent tests. Colorimetric chemical tests do not differentiate between different types of the same fluid, such as venous and menstrual blood, and there is no presumptive test available to simultaneously differentiate several body fluids. In this study, we recorded ATR FT‐IR spectra of venous and menstrual blood, semen, saliva, and breastmilk. Neat and simulated casework body fluid samples were analyzed on cotton, nylon, wood, paper, and glass substrates. Differences in fluid composition, including proteins and small molecules, resulted in spectral differences. Venous and menstrual blood is differentiated by the peak at 1039 cm−1 attributed to phosphoric acid found in menstrual blood. Peak intensity is influenced by the porosity and weave of the substrate fabric.
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Keywords: attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR FT‐IR) spectroscopy; breastmilk; forensic science; menstrual blood; saliva; semen; venous blood

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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