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