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Developmental validation of a multiplex proteomic assay for the identification of forensically relevant biological fluids

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 326 Dated: September 2021 Pages: 110908
Date Published
September 2021

The goal of this study was to validate a multiplex proteomic assay for the identification of high-specificity protein biomarkers by multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for the accurate, reliable, and confirmatory identification of bodily fluids commonly encountered in a forensic context, including the identification of peripheral blood, semen, saliva, urine, and vaginal/menstrual fluid.


The assay is able to efficiently identify pure or mixed stains through the identification of target peptide fragments originating from tissue-specific proteins, including uromodulin from urine; prostatic acid phosphatase, prostate specific antigen, and semenogelin-II for semen; statherin, submaxillary gland androgen-regulated protein 3B and amylase for saliva; cornulin, martrigel-induced gene C4 protein, suprabasin and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin for vaginal/menstrual fluid; and alpha-1 antitrypsin, hemopexin, and hemoglobin subunit beta for peripheral blood. These results were based on the results of the developmental validation studies, which included an assessment of reproducibility and repeatability, sensitivity, species specificity, carryover, mixtures, as well as a series of casework type samples. Only a small selection of case samples was unable to unambiguously identify the target fluid, including urine recovered from substrates as well as semen when mixed with personal lubricants. Overall, the mass spectrometry-based workflow offers significant advantages compared to existing serological methods. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: September 1, 2021