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      Estimation of the age of human semen stains by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy: a preliminary study

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          Semen stain is one of the most important biological evidence at sexual crime scenes. Age estimation of human semen stains plays an important role in forensic work, and it is rarely studied due to lack of well-established methods. In this study, the technique called attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) coupled with advanced chemometric methods was employed to determine the age of semen stains on three different substrates: glass slides, tissues and fabric made of regenerated cellulose fibres up to 6 d. Partial least squares regression (PLSR) was used in conjunction with spectral analysis for age estimation, and the results generated high R 2 values (cross-validation: 0.81, external validation: 0.74) but a narrow margin of error for root mean square error (RMSE) (RMSE of cross-validation: 0.77 d, RMSE of prediction: 1.02 d). Additionally, our results indicated the robustness of PLSR model was not weaken by the influence of different substrates in this study. Our results indicate that ATR-FTIR, combined with chemometric methods, shows great potential as a convenient and efficient tool for age estimation of semen stains. Moreover, the method could be applied to routine forensic investigations in the future.

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          Most cited references 29

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          Distinguishing cell types or populations based on the computational analysis of their infrared spectra.

          Infrared (IR) spectroscopy of intact cells results in a fingerprint of their biochemistry in the form of an IR spectrum; this has given rise to the new field of biospectroscopy. This protocol describes sample preparation (a tissue section or cytology specimen), the application of IR spectroscopy tools, and computational analysis. Experimental considerations include optimization of specimen preparation, objective acquisition of a sufficient number of spectra, linking of the derived spectra with tissue architecture or cell type, and computational analysis. The preparation of multiple specimens (up to 50) takes 8 h; the interrogation of a tissue section can take up to 6 h (∼100 spectra); and cytology analysis (n = 50, 10 spectra per specimen) takes 14 h. IR spectroscopy generates complex data sets and analyses are best when initially based on a multivariate approach (principal component analysis with or without linear discriminant analysis). This results in the identification of class clustering as well as class-specific chemical entities.
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            The detection and discrimination of human body fluids using ATR FT-IR spectroscopy.

            Blood, saliva, semen and vaginal secretions are the main human body fluids encountered at crime scenes. Currently presumptive tests are routinely utilised to indicate the presence of body fluids, although these are often subject to false positives and limited to particular body fluids. Over the last decade more sensitive and specific body fluid identification methods have been explored, such as mRNA analysis and proteomics, although these are not yet appropriate for routine application. This research investigated the application of ATR FT-IR spectroscopy for the detection and discrimination of human blood, saliva, semen and vaginal secretions. The results demonstrated that ATR FT-IR spectroscopy can detect and distinguish between these body fluids based on the unique spectral pattern, combination of peaks and peak frequencies corresponding to the macromolecule groups common within biological material. Comparisons with known abundant proteins relevant to each body fluid were also analysed to enable specific peaks to be attributed to the relevant protein components, which further reinforced the discrimination and identification of each body fluid. Overall, this preliminary research has demonstrated the potential for ATR FT-IR spectroscopy to be utilised in the routine confirmatory screening of biological evidence due to its quick and robust application within forensic science.
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              Resonant Mie scattering (RMieS) correction applied to FTIR images of biological tissue samples.

              Recently a resonant Mie scattering (RMieS) correction approach has been developed and demonstrated to be effective for removing the baseline distortions that compromise the raw data in individual spectra. In this paper RMieS correction is extended to FTIR images of a tissue section from biopsy of the human cervical transformation zone and a coronal tissue section of a Wistar rat brain and compared to the uncorrected images. It is shown that applying RMieS correction to FTIR images a) removes baseline distortions from the image spectra and thus reveals previously hidden information on spatial variation of chemical contents within the tissue and b) can lead to improved automatic tissue feature classification through multivariate cluster analysis.

                Author and article information

                Forensic Sci Res
                Forensic Sci Res
                Forensic Sciences Research
                Taylor & Francis
                09 September 2019
                : 5
                : 2
                : 119-125
                [a ]Department of Forensic Pathology, Xi'an Jiaotong University School of Medicine , Xi’an, China;
                [b ]Department of Forensic Medicine, Chongqing Medical University , Chongqing, China;
                [c ]Department of Forensic Medicine, Xuzhou Medical University , Xuzhou, China;
                [d ]Department of Forensic Pathology, Academy of Forensic Science , Shanghai, China
                Author notes
                CONTACT Ping Huang huangp@ 123456ssfd.cn ;
                © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis Group on behalf of the Academy of Forensic Science.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 2, Pages: 7, Words: 4408
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China 10.13039/501100001809
                This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 81730056).
                This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant number 81730056].
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