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Post Deposition Aging of Bloodstains Probed by Steady-State Fluorescence Spectroscopy

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2021

This preliminary study used steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy to probe the changes in fluorescence properties of peripheral and menstrual blood up to 24 hours after deposition.


Blood is one of the most common body fluids discovered at crime scenes of violent actions. It is one of the most important types of forensic evidence, since it enables the identification of the individual when there is a match with a known DNA profile. Determining the time since deposition (TSD) can assist investigators in establishing when the crime occurred or whether a bloodstain present is related to the investigated event. To develop a forensically sound method for determining the TSD of a bloodstain, it is necessary to understand the underlying biochemical mechanisms occurring during aging. Since biochemical processes occurring in blood are necessary for the continued survival of living organisms, they are important subjects of human biology and biomedicine and are well understood; however, the biochemistry of bloodstain aging ex vivo is primarily of interest to forensic scientists and has not yet been thoroughly researched. In this reported study, peripheral and menstrual blood exhibited similar kinetic changes over time, assigned to the presence of the fluorophores: tryptophan, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), and flavins in both biological fluids. The biochemical mechanism of blood aging ex vivo is discussed. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: August 1, 2021