The ability to detect and non-destructively collect biological samples for DNA processing would benefit the forensic community by preserving the physical integrity of evidentiary items for more thorough evaluations by other forensic disciplines.
Overall, the current study determined that the evaluated non-destructive ESDA collection technique has great potential for real-world forensic implementation. Fingerprints were deposited on a variety of paper substrates that included resume paper, cotton paper, magazine paper, currency, copy paper, and newspaper. Three DNA collection techniques were performed: ESDA collection, dry swabbing, and substrate cutting. The efficacy of each collection technique was evaluated by the quantity of DNA present in each sample and the percent profile generated by each sample. Both the ESDA and dry swabbing non-destructive sampling techniques outperformed the destructive methodology of substrate cutting. A greater number of full profiles were generated from samples collected with the non-destructive dry swabbing collection technique than were generated from samples collected with the ESDA; however, the ESDA also allowed the user to visualize the area of interest while non-destructively collecting the biological material. The ability to visualize the biological material made sampling straightforward and eliminated the need for numerous, random swabbings/cuttings. (Publisher abstract modified)