Date of Award

Spring 6-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science



First Advisor

Mechthild Prinz

Second Reader

Marta Concheiro-Guisan

Third Advisor

Grace Axler-DiPerte


This study covers a modified semi-quantitative approach for liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) signature peptide detection for body fluid identification. Peptide concentrations were measured based on synthetic peptide standards. Samples were processed with varying trypsin digestion and purification protocols, including a three-hour trypsin digestion and Microcon membrane filtration. The Microcon filtration method generates polymerase chain reaction (PCR) compatible DNA and peptide fractions that can be analyzed without any further purification. Preliminary validation tests covered stains on different substrates, semen/ saliva mixtures, minimum sample volume, and repeatability. All signature peptides in the multiplex were present at different concentrations and varied amongst donors. Saliva peptides were detected at lower concentrations and had a higher minimum sample volume. Semen peptides could be detected even as a minor component in a mixture. All semen and saliva peptides were detected on the various substrates. DNA fractions did not show signs of degradation or PCR inhibition.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 26, 2021