Optimization of the fabrication parameters for SERS-active forensic evidence swabs

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Katarina Grace Perrine (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Advisor
David Evanoff, Jr.

Abstract: Currently, in the forensic field there is a need for development to improve biological evidence screening. Although, biological evidence screening is not required for DNA analysis it can give insight for crime scene reconstruction therefore providing valuable forensic evidence. Many current screening tests have several limitations such as low specificity, lack of sensitivity and sample destruction. The proposed research introduces a method to collect and identify body fluid that is not only reliable but non-destructive to the sample. This can be achieved by fabrication of SERS-active forensic swabs via a silver nanoparticle synthesis. The modified swabs allow for rapid sample identification via surfaced enhance Raman spectroscopy. Several studies were performed to further enhance the synthesis reaction. A multi-point Raman measurement method was developed for Raman intensity comparison between varying synthesis conditions. Surface coverage of swab fibers and total mass of silver on swabs was also analyzed. A synthesis reaction at 80 ºC for 90 minutes was found to be the optimal parameters however, additional research may be needed to confirm these results. Lastly, the effects of silver contamination on DNA extraction and quantification were assessed. It was also concluded that the SERS-active forensic evidence swabs performed just as well as plain swabs when used for DNA extraction and quantification.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2018
Keywords
Forensic Science, human body fluids, nanoparticle, plasmon resonance, Raman spectroscopy

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