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The novel use of a spray-on rubber coating to recover cellular material from the surface of bricks

Cahill, M.J. and Chapman, B.ORCID: 0000-0001-7518-6645 (2020) The novel use of a spray-on rubber coating to recover cellular material from the surface of bricks. Forensic Science International: Genetics, 49 . Article 102404.

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Currently, forensic investigators utilise various types of swabs and tape lifts to recover cellular material from coarse surfaces identified during a criminal investigation. However, a number of challenges prevent successful recovery and therefore warrants the need for an alternative method. Plasti dip® is peel-off rubber coating that can be applied to most surfaces and may have an application in the recovery of DNA from coarse surfaces. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Plasti dip® to recover DNA from coarse brick surfaces and assess how this method compares to current techniques. Cellular material was deposited onto brick pieces in varying concentrations and recovered with either flocked, foam or rayon swabs, or Plasti dip®. Material recovered, using each technique, was extracted and quantitated for comparison of DNA yields. At low and medium cell concentrations, an observable but not statistically significant difference was observed between the swabbing methods and Plasti dip®. At high cell concentrations Plasti dip® was able to recover a significantly higher DNA concentration than all three swabbing methods. Quantitation results indicated no degradation of DNA. This is a novel approach to the collection of trace DNA from surfaces that have historically proven difficult to sample. While there is further validation required, this landmark study demonstrates the potential that spray-on rubber coatings have for casework involving rough, porous surfaces like bricks, stones or rocks.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
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