At the December Innovative Technologies Breakfast at Delaware State University, we learned a lot about Crime Scene Investigations and some new tools that are being tested by law enforcement in Delaware.
The goals with the tools from Advanced Response Concepts are to provide a solid evidence chain for dectectives, including proper labelling and handling for samples that will later be separated with Thin Layer Chromatography.
NewsWise has an interesting article about the U.S. Secret Service using Thin Layer Chromatography to analyze inks - here's some excerpts:
Inks in one form or another have been around for at least 5,000 years. Scientists can analyze an ink’s components and determine when it was first manufactured, its brand, its composition, and other information by comparing the analysis results to the more than 10,000 inks and matching analyses stored in the International Ink Library managed by the U.S. Secret Service.
To analyze an ink sample, forensic scientists separate its components using planar thin layer chromatography. This process uses solvents to separate the ink into bands of color on a page. Each ink creates its own color bands, thus forming a “fingerprint.” Scientists compare the unknown sample’s bands to known samples to find a match.
We just discovered a great new blog dedicated specifically to Forensics.
A recent post caught our eye:
Chromatography - A Powerful Tool For Forensics
Here's some excerpts:
What this process allows, among various other benefits, is the precise separation of complex chemical mixtures using a color-coded matrix. The identification of chemicals by means of a color code has made chromatography very popular, especially at potentially messy forensic crime scenes. Usually, the application of chromatography in a laboratory setting involves passing a mixture through a series of phases. The mixture passes from a mobile phase, through a stationary phase, and results in the isolation of the desired molecule or compound.
The uses of chromatography are varied and accurate, making it a perfect match for law enforcement. As the forensic specialists forge forward with their investigations, stay tuned to your favorite crime show. You may hear them mention, as the dramatic music crescendos and your favorite stars pretend to be concerned, a chromatographical process.