Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $451,336)
The objective of this proposal is to validate analytical methods for the forensic chemical characterization of dyes extracted from trace evidence fibers, thereby enhancing discrimination for comparison of known and questioned casework fibers. Separation and detection of individual dye components provides a qualitative and semi-quantitative fiber dye "fingerprint". Determining the number and relative amounts of dyes present, and characterizing those dyes at the molecular level by mass spectrometry, offers an entirely new level of discrimination. This research will directly aid in the understanding the scientific basis, establishing the validity of new discriminating methods for forensic fiber examinations, and translating those methods in forensic laboratory practice.