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International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 124, Issue 6, pp 513–521

First Online: 03 August 2010Received: 10 May 2010Accepted: 20 July 2010DOI: 10.1007-s00414-010-0499-4

Cite this article as: Vandewoestyne, M. & Deforce, D. Int J Legal Med 2010 124: 513. doi:10.1007-s00414-010-0499-4


In forensic sciences, short tandem repeat STR analysis has become the prime tool for DNA-based identification of the donors of biological stains and-or traces. Many traces, however, contain cells and, hence, DNA, from more than a single individual, giving rise to mixed genotypes and the subsequent difficulties in interpreting the results. An even more challenging situation occurs when cells of a victim are much more abundant than the cells of the perpetrator. Therefore, the forensic community seeks to improve cell-separation methods in order to generate single-donor cell populations from a mixed trace in order to facilitate DNA typing and identification. Laser capture microdissection LCM offers a valuable tool for precise separation of specific cells. This review summarises all possible forensic applications of LCM, gives an overview of the staining and detection options, including automated detection and retrieval of cells of interest, and reviews the DNA extraction protocols compatible with LCM of cells from forensic samples.

KeywordsLaser capture microdissection Forensics Sexual assault Cell separation techniques  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Mado Vandewoestyne - Dieter Deforce


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