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Novel cellular signatures for determining time since deposition for trace DNA evidence

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series Volume: 8 Dated: December 2022 Pages: 268-270
Sarah Ingram; M. Katherine Philpott; Christopher J. Ehrhardt
Date Published
December 2022
3 pages

This article presents a novel method to determine time since deposition of trace DNA samples presented in forensic cases to answer questions about how and when the DNA was deposited.


With the increase in sensitivity of DNA profiling, questions about how and when the DNA was deposited have become a driving issue in forensic cases. To address this, the authors propose a novel method to determine time since deposition of trace DNA samples based on morphological and autofluorescence properties of individual epithelial cells which can change as the sample ages. To develop this signature, a series of trace DNA samples were generated by contact/handling a substrate and then allowed to age anywhere between one day and more than one year prior to collection. Imaging flow cytometry (IFC) was then used to characterize the morphology and autofluorescence profiles of individual cells within each sample followed by multivariate modelling and predictive classification. (Published Abstract Provided)