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Detection Limits for Blood on Four Fabric Types Using Infrared Diffuse Reflection Spectroscopy in Mid- and Near-Infrared Spectral Windows

NCJ Number
Analytical Chemistry Volume: 87 Issue: 17 Dated: 2015 Pages: 8740-8747
Date Published
8 pages

In the current project, the detection limits (DL) for blood on four fabric types were estimated for calibrations derived using partial least squares regression applied to infrared (IR) diffuse reflection spectra.


Samples were prepared by dip-coating acrylic, cotton, nylon, and polyester fabrics from solutions of diluted rat blood. Although DLs often appear in terms of dilution factor in the forensic community, mass percentage, coverage (mass per unit area), or film thickness are often more relevant when comparing experimental methods. These alternate DL units are related to one another and presented here. The best IR diffuse reflection DLs for blood on acrylic and cotton fabrics were in the mid-IR spectral window corresponding to the protein Amide I/II absorption bands. These DLs were dilution by a factor of 2300 (0.019 percent w/w blood solids) for acrylic and a factor of 610 (0.055 percent w/w blood solids) for cotton. The best DL for blood on polyester was found in the mid-IR spectral window corresponding to the protein Amide A absorption band at dilution by a factor of 900 (0.034 percent w/w blood solids). Because of the similarity between the IR spectra of blood solids and nylon fabrics, no satisfactory IR DLs were determined for the calibration of blood on nylon. The values were compared to DLs reported for blood detection, using the standard luminol method. The most reported luminol DLs were of the order of 1000-fold dilution, which were estimated as a factor of 2–7 lower than the reported IR DLs on a coverage basis. (publisher abstract modified)


Date Published: January 1, 2015