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Biological fluid collection device comparison

As technology advances and forensic scientists are able to examine ever smaller amounts of DNA, it becomes more important than ever that collection of biological material is done in a manner that is efficient, nondestructive and with the least possibility for contamination.

But while DNA analysis may employ high-tech equipment, a decidedly low-tech device is key to performing this process: a swab.

To determine whether some swabs are more efficient at collecting and releasing dried biological fluids than others, NFSTC scientists examined nine different swabs of varying materials/styles to gauge their performance in this application. In addition, the frequently utilized “double-swab technique” was examined to determine if it provided any additional advantages.

To review the results of the study, download the Swab Collection Comparison Study now.  To view additional reports, visit the NFSTC technology evaluations page.

This project was funded through the NIJ Forensic Technologies Center of Excellence, Award No. 2010-DN-BX-K210.