July 14, 2024

Expedited, Chemically Enhanced Sperm Cell Recovery from Cotton Swabs for Rape Kit Analysis

Abstract: "This report focuses on the development of a method for chemically induced enhancement of cell elution and recovery from cotton swabs. The method exploits the exclusive use of detergents for intact cell removal, and can be utilized in conjunction with, or to circumvent, conventional differential extraction (DE). Samples treated with Sarkosyl (54.4 +/- 1.8%) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) (78.5 +/- 0.7%) yielded higher sperm cell recoveries than a conventional DE buffer (39.4 +/- 2.1%). The results indicated that the choice of detergent affected sperm cell yield, with anionic detergents having the greatest effect. Storage time of samples affected the concentration of detergent required for optimal sperm cell recovery, longer times requiring increased detergent concentrations. In addition, the extent of sperm cell lysis by proteinase K digestion was evaluated. The results indicate that the exclusive use of SDS enhances the release of sperm and epithelial cells from a cotton swab as compared with DE buffer, providing for a more effective DNA analysis."
Jessica V. Norris
Kate Manning
Sarah J. Linke
Jerome P. Ferrance
James P. Landers
Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 52, No. 4
Date Added November 14, 2016
Date Modifed October 17, 2017
Collection UVA scholarship on sexual violence, 1974-

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