Author(s): Virkler K, Lednev IK
Near-infrared (NIR) Raman spectroscopy was used to measure spectra of dried human blood samples from multiple donors. Two major questions addressed in this paper involve the influence of sample heterogeneity and potential Raman spectral variations that could arise between different donors of blood. Advanced statistical analysis of spectra obtained from multiple spots on dry samples showed that dry blood is chemically heterogeneous, and its Raman spectra could be presented very well as a linear combination of a fluorescent background and two Raman spectroscopic components that are dominated by hemoglobin and fibrin, respectively. Each sample Raman spectrum contains the same major peaks, but the relative contribution of the hemoglobin and fibrin components varies with the donor. Therefore, no single spectrum could adequately represent an experimental Raman spectrum of dry blood in a quantitative way, but rather the combination of hemoglobin and fibrin spectral components could be considered to be a spectroscopic signature for blood. This proof-of-concept approach shows the potential for Raman spectroscopy to be used in forensic analysis to identify an unknown substance such as blood.