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Validation of the Hemoglobin (Hb) Hypsochromic Shift Assay for Determination of the Time Since Deposition (TSD) of Dried Bloodstains

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series Volume: 3 Issue: 1 Dated: December 2011 Pages: e307-e308
Date Published
December 2011
2 pages
This article reports on a research project that advanced the authors' previous work by evaluating the effects of temperature and underlying substrate on the ability to obtain reliable measurements of time since deposition (TSD) of bloodstains, using the Hb hypsochromic shift assay.

Determining the time since deposition (TSD) of a bloodstain found at a crime scene could prove invaluable to law enforcement investigations, identifying the time frame in which the individual depositing the evidence was present. Although various TSD methods have been proposed, none have gained widespread use due to poor time resolution and weak age correlation. Previously, the authors examined the UV-visible absorption spectral profile of hemoglobin (Hb) in dried bloodstains of different ages and identified a hypsochromic shift (blue shift, shift to shorter wavelength) of the HbSoret band that demonstrated a high correlation with TSD. Although this method demonstrated promise for use with forensic samples, additional validation work was needed. In the current work, the authors evaluated bloodstains deposited onto cotton, denim, polyester, and paper incubated at various temperatures for up to 3 months. The effects of temperature were consistent with previous studies and no significant effects from underlying substrate were observed. The authors further evaluated the use of a portable spectrophotometer which could be used "on-site" at crime scenes. This would allow not only an estimation of the age of the stain but the rapid positive identification of the presence of blood due to the unique visible spectrum of Hb. The authors concluded that DNA profiles of good quality can be obtained from the original TSD aqueous extracts. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: December 1, 2011