Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Chemistry

Content Description

1 online resource (xviii, 167 pages) : illustrations (chiefly color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Igor K Lednev

Committee Members

Rabi Musah, Alexander Shekhtman, Mehmet Yigit, Ray Wickenheiser


Bloodstains, Body fluids, Chemometrics, Crime scene investigation, Forensic science, Vibrational spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Vibrational spectra, Bloodstain pattern analysis, Blood, Forensic hematology

Subject Categories



Recent years have seen a large expansion in the forensic field due to the introduction of novel analytical techniques. Body fluids are an extremely important type of evidence at crime scenes and the main source of DNA. Most current methods for the identification and examination of body fluid traces require chemical treatment and are therefore destructive to the sample. Thus, new methods that are nondestructive and provide rapid results with statistical confidence are desirable. Such methods could eliminate noninformative traces and allow investigators to focus on more valuable pieces of evidence. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop new methodologies that are universal, nondestructive, inexpensive, rapid, and allow on scene detection, identification, and characterization of body fluid traces. Vibrational spectroscopy, including attenuated total reflection Fourier transform-infrared (ATR FT-IR) and Raman spectroscopic techniques, is nondestructive to the sample, requires minimal sample preparation, and provides rapid results. In this work, vibrational spectroscopy was combined with advanced statistics to analyze body fluids and provide forensically relevant information about the samples and their donors. The objectives of this study included the following: (i) identifying biological stains among environmental interferences, (ii) differentiating between menstrual and peripheral blood, (iii) discriminating between human blood and animal blood, and (iv) generating a phenotypic profile of a bloodstain donor, including biological sex, race, and age group. This study shows that vibrational spectroscopy has great potential as a universal tool for identifying and analyzing body fluids for forensic purposes. Statistical evaluation of the results strengthens the findings by providing a confidence interval. Once fully developed, this methodology will revolutionize body fluid analysis in the forensic field.

Included in

Chemistry Commons