November 20, 2019 · University of Virginia

Advances in forensic science: Improving sexual assault evidence analysis.

Abstract segment: "Genetic analysis of DNA obtained from vaginal swabs is well-established for investigation of sexual assault cases. Although conventional analysis techniques are effective, they are time-consuming and laborious, which has produced a substantial backlog of casework samples to be analyzed. Microfluidic technologies present one solution to this problem. The work presented describes techniques aimed at improving forensic genetic analysis techniques, and specifically addresses procedures necessary for sexual assault evidence analysis, where male and female DNA must be separately interrogated.
Sexual assault evidence typically contains a mixture of sperm cells from the perpetrator in an excess of epithelial cells from the victim;efficient recovery of cells from the cotton swab, as well as isolation of sperm cells from female DNA, are required for analysis. Conventional methods for recovery and separation of the genetic material are time-consuming and often inefficient. In an effort to improve cell recovery over conventional methods, two procedures were developed and are described; the first incorporates enzymes for digestion of the cotton matrix, while the second includes detergents for the release of cells from cotton, and proteolytic digestion for preferential lysis of epithelial cells. These methods can be used to supplant conventional macroscale techniques, or in conjunction with microchip cell separation methods."
Creator
Jessica Voorhees Norris
Publisher
University of Virginia
Date
2008
Type
Dissertation
Advisor
James P. Landers
Department
Department of Chemistry
Date Added November 5, 2016
Date Modifed October 17, 2017
Collection UVA scholarship on sexual violence, 1974-

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