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Journal Article


Schneider TD, Kraemer T, Steuer AE. Drug Test. Anal. 2023; 15(8): 840-852.


(Copyright © 2023, John Wiley and Sons)






Being able to attest when a bloodstain was deposited at a crime scene can be invaluable to a prosecution process, and methods to provide that information have long been desired. Determining the Time since Deposition (TsD) of a trace would allow placing a subject both in space and time to the crime scene--or prove that a trace left by that person was unrelated to it because it was deposited before or after the time the crime had occurred. To this day, no method for TsD determination has made its way into routine forensic casework, mainly because of the numerous challenges that await when trying to understand and account for all the influencing and confounding factors that affect the aging process (such as, e.g., temperature, UV-light exposure, or humidity). Here, we present an untargeted metabolomics-based study using liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HR-MS) and data-dependent acquisition to analyze blood samples aged under two distinctly different storage conditions over 48 weeks. Global differences in age- and storage-dependent changes in blood metabolomes were described, and TsD-classification strategies based on qualitative and quantitative assessment of molecular features (MFs) have been proposed. Based on the selected criteria to best predict the TsD, the dipeptide Phenylalanylalanine (PheAla) can be considered as a promising candidate for TsD prediction. In essence, changes in the blood metabolome dynamics showed a strong association with increasing TsD, but significant differences depending on storage conditioning were observed, facilitating the need to study further the influence of individual influencing factors on TsD determination.

Language: en


blood traces; forensics; high-resolution LC–MS; Time since Deposition; untargeted metabolomics


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