Author | Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Anita Mahadevan-Jansen is with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.


Shedding New Light on Forensic Timelines

September 01, 2016



The development of novel, nondestructive technologies for rapid analysis of evidence discovered at crime scenes is pertinent to our criminal justice system to solve the millions of violent crimes that occur each year. Without a witness, establishing the precise timeline of a crime is difficult. Therefore, technologies based on sensitive, nondestructive techniques are needed to evaluate evidence and create such a timeline. We propose the use of Raman spectroscopy to analyze the age of bloodstains for potential use as a forensics tool. Previous studies have revealed Raman spectroscopy is sensitive to changes in blood analyte concentration and different oxidative states of hemoglobin. Raman spectroscopy could allow for rapid comparison of spectra from blood stains of unknown age to spectra of known age with high temporal accuracy. Though further investigation into other substrates and biochemical components should be performed, our study reveals Raman spectroscopy has the potential to accurately and nondestructively determine the age of a bloodstain for use in criminal investigations.

Looking Below the Surface of Breast Tissue During Surgery

June 01, 2011

Special Issues


In this article, we present a method that provides prompt detection of the presence of cancer cells inside the 2-mm margin of tissue surrounding the tumor after excision using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS). SORS was developed to detect subtle changes in soft tissue spectra in the 100–2000 ?m range and tested on excised breast tissues. The results display a very high specificity and sensitivity (100% and 95%, respectively) of classification between positive and negative tumor margins. SORS is a clinically feasible method, suitable for the real-time, intraoperative assessment of tumor margins at the micrometer level.