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Forensic Sci Int. 2011 Jun 15;209(1-3):133-42. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.01.010. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Evaluation of selected sorbent materials for the collection of volatile organic compounds related to human scent using non-contact sampling mode.

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Florida International University, International Forensic Research Institute, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Miami, FL 33199, United States.


Human scent can be collected by either contact or non-contact sampling mode. The most frequently used human scent evidence collection device known as the Scent Transfer Unit (STU-100) is a dynamic sampling device and is often used in a non-contact mode. A customized human scent collection chamber was utilized in combination with controlled odor mimic permeation systems containing five standard human scent volatiles to optimize the flow rate, collection material and geometry of the absorbent material. The scent collection method which yielded the greatest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected included the use of a single layer of Johnson and Johnson gauze/multiple layers of Dukal gauze with the STU-100 on the lowest flow rate setting. The correlation of the resulting VOC profiles demonstrate that collection of standard VOCs in controlled conditions yielded reproducible VOC profiles on all materials studied with the exception of polyester. Finally, the method was tested using actual human subjects under optimized set of conditions.

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