Determining Bloodstain Age Using Raman Spectroscopy

A novel and non-destructive method of determining the age of an evidentiary bloodstain using Raman Spectroscopy. Background: Forensic investigators are members of law enforcement that help secure a crime scene and collect evidence. When the evidence involves blood, the age of that blood is a critical piece of information investigators need to identify the precise time the crime occurred. Blood stain age is also known as the “time since deposition” and presents a continued challenge for law enforcement because it is quite difficult to determine. Despite research efforts using a variety of different techniques, there is currently still no reliable or established method for estimating the how long ago a bloodstain was deposited. Technology Overview: This University at Albany technology applies novel advanced statistics to the output of Raman Spectroscopy in order to identify body fluid traces, such as blood, at crime scenes. Raman spectroscopy is a tool that measures the intensity of scattered light that is produced by shining lasers on a sample: in this case, blood. Since no two compounds produce the same Raman spectrum, the measurements are unique (think fingerprint) and they can distinguish blood specimens from other types of body fluid. Further, this approach can also determine the age of the bloodstain (whether it’s hours, days, weeks, months or years old). Critically, this process is non-destructive, meaning the bloodstain sample is preserved for subsequent DNA analysis by law enforcement. Advantages: This novel technology offers numerous advantages over incumbent methods including the following:

  • It is a nondestructive method that preserves the original sample and only a small blood sample is required.
  • It can be used as a Crime Scene tool: the technology could be used directly at the crime scene with a portable Raman Spectroscopy unit outfitted with an automatic analysis feature.
  • It can rapidly and accurately determine bloodstain age (whether it’s hours, days, weeks, etc.) and distinguish it from other body fluid types.
    Applications: While the primary use of this technology is to help investigate crime or other scenes where bloodstains are present, it could be beneficial to other potential end-users such as:
  • Local crime laboratories
  • State crime laboratories
  • Military (e.g. the Army) criminal investigation laboratories
  • Education programs that train crime lab analysts and technicians Intellectual Property Summary: This technology was issued US Patent No. 10,801,964 “Spectroscopic Methods for Body Fluid Age Determination” on 10/13/2020 Stage of Development: Stage of Development – Technology Readiness Level (TRL): 7 – system prototype demonstration in operational environment. Licensing Status: This technology is available for licensing. The commercial goal of this technology is to analyze the output from Raman Spectroscopy to determine blood stain age and, as such, could be licensed to three types of end users: 1. Companies that sell forensic laboratory equipment for law enforcement crime laboratories such as Air Science (manufacturer) and LabX (distributor). 2. Companies that make and sell Raman Spectroscopy products such as BWTek (hand-held units), Bruker (stationary and hand-held units) and Renishaw (stationary units). 3. Public or private crime laboratories that exist in the U.S. or abroad. https://suny.technologypublisher.com/files/sites/adobestock_2434538531.jpeg

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Contact Information

TTO Home Page: https://suny.technologypublisher.com

Name: Peter Gonczlik

Title: Sr. Technology Transfer Associate

Department: Office for Innovation Development and Commercialization

Email: pgonczlik@albany.edu

Phone: (518) 442-3275