Detection of condom lubricants and starches in the presence of biologicals by diffuse reflectance infrared fourier transform spectroscopy and polarized light microscopy
Moody, Hannah Leigh
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Condoms have been used in sexual assaults as a means of preventing the transmission of biological fluids. Current sexual assault evidence collection kit processing protocols do not regularly take advantage of the information that can be gathered by examining residues left by condoms during intercourse. A biphasic liquid-liquid extraction technique was developed to separate polar and non-polar condom residues, which had been collected on cotton tipped swabs. This research involved the examination of twenty condom brands by Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy. Five brands were selected to examine the consistency of this technique when the lubricants were exposed to body and storage temperature conditions for various times and in the presence of oral, vaginal, and blood samples. Additionally, starches collected from the condoms under each of the above conditions were examined. Although all lubricants were identifiable using this IR technique, the nonoxynol-9 (spermicide) containing samples produced spectra which were not identical to those produced by nonoxynol-9 standards. Although there was a decrease in the percent transmittance within IR spectra as the time between the collection and the extraction of the swabs increased, the condom residues of interest remained identifiable at all time points examined. The use of vaginal and oral swabs in the collection caused a negligible amount of background interference, which could be eliminated through spectral subtraction of the swab.
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