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Characterization of Surface Organic Components of Human Hair by On-Line Supercritical Fluid Extraction - Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry: A Feasibility Study and Comparison with Human Identification Using Mitochondrial DNA Sequences

Published

Author(s)

Bruce A. Benner Jr, J V. Goodpaster, J A. DeGrasse, L A. Tully, Barbara C. Levin

Abstract

Hair is routinely collected at crime scenes for subsequent forensic analysis, typically involving inspection by microscope techniques to determine any distinguishing characteristics that might help associate the sample with an individual. Recent advances in determining mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) enable genetic characterizations of small hair samples with or without root cells. Mitochondrial DNA has been used for human identification especially when nuclear DNA is degraded or available in limited amounts. Presently, no other chemical analysis is routinely performed on forensic hair samples.This paper discusses the results of a supercritical fluid extraction - gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (SFE-GC/MS) study of small samples (100 ug to 1 mg) of human scalp hair. The method offers a number of benefits including greater sensitivity than liquid extraction methods because the entire extractable mass is transferred to the analytical system, compared with only a few percent from a conventional liquid extraction/injection. The goals of the work were to determine if SFE-GC/MS analyses of the surface-extractable components of an individual s hair yield consistent chemical profiles, and to investigate if the profiles are sufficiently different to distinguish them from those of other individuals. In addition, the mtDNA sequences from ten of the same samples used in the SFE-GC/MS study from four family units were determined and, while the families were distinguishable, the maternal relations yielded identical sequences. In tandem, SFE-GC/MS and mtDNA techniques may provide valuable complimentary data from forensic hair samples.
Citation
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume
48
Issue
No. 3

Keywords

gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, hair, lipids, sebaceous

Citation

Benner, B. , Goodpaster, J. , DeGrasse, J. , Tully, L. and Levin, B. (2003), Characterization of Surface Organic Components of Human Hair by On-Line Supercritical Fluid Extraction - Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry: A Feasibility Study and Comparison with Human Identification Using Mitochondrial DNA Sequences, Journal of Forensic Sciences (Accessed April 17, 2024)
Created May 1, 2003, Updated February 17, 2017