Transforming presumptive forensic testing: in situ identification and age estimation of human bodily fluids†
The ability to achieve rapid, in situ identification and age estimation of human bodily fluids can provide valuable information during the investigation of a crime. A novel direct analysis method now permits the rapid in situ identification and age estimation of human bodily fluids for forensic analysis at crime scenes. A thermal desorption surface sampling probe was developed and coupled with a compact mass spectrometer for the direct analysis of volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles of human bodily fluids within two months and in different environmental conditions, without the need for prior sample preparation. The method is not only capable of identifying bodily fluids and discriminating against common interferent species, but also differentiating between bodily fluid stains of different ages over a time period of two months. This demonstrates the potential for rapid in situ identification and age estimation of bodily fluids without the need for contaminative presumptive tests or time-consuming sample preparation.