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Sci Justice. 2013 Sep;53(3):270-7. doi: 10.1016/j.scijus.2013.04.004. Epub 2013 May 17.

The age estimation of blood stains up to 30 days old using visible wavelength hyperspectral image analysis and linear discriminant analysis.

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School of Science and Engineering, Teesside University, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA, UK.


A novel application of visible wavelength hyperspectral image analysis has been applied to determine the age of blood stains up to 30 days old. Reflectance spectra from selected locations within the hyperspectral image, obtained from a portable instrument, were subjected to spectral pre-processing. This was followed by the application of a linear discriminant classification model, making estimations possible with an average error of ±0.27days for the first 7 days and an overall average error of ±1.17days up to 30 days. This is also the first reported study of the determination of the age of fresh blood stains (less than one day old) with an error of ±0.09h. The studies have been made under controlled conditions and represent, at this stage, proof of concept results but also are the most accurate age estimation results for measurements between 0 and 30 days reported to date. The results are consistent with well-established kinetic processes suggesting that the pre-processing stages described are revealing spectroscopic changes which are reliably following the time dependent oxidation of HbO2. The potential for parameterisation of environmental factors to make the method generally applicable at crime scenes is discussed, along with the developments required to further improve classification and to make the instrument genuinely portable.


Age determination; Blood stain; Hyperspectral imaging; Linear discriminant analysis; Liquid crystal tuneable filter; Reflectance spectroscopy

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