Indirect DNA transfer without contact from dried biological materials on various surfaces

Devon Thornbury, Mariya Goray, Roland A.H. van Oorschot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


DNA transfer is a well-recognised phenomenon impacting the probability of detecting the presence of a particular source of DNA and thus the likelihood of the evidence given considered events within forensic investigations. Comprehensive study is lacking on variables associated with indirect DNA transfer without physical contact. Additionally, the drying properties of forensically relevant biological materials are under researched despite the recognised potential for these properties to affect DNA transfer. This study investigated the drying properties and indirect DNA transfer of dried blood, saliva, semen, vaginal fluid and touch DNA without contact deposited on two different non-porous hard substrates (melamine and glass) and two different porous soft substrates (polyester and cotton) by tapping (all substrates) and stretching (only fabric substrates) agitations. Different apparent drying trends were observed between the volumes, substrates and biological materials tested with substrate type generally having a greater influence than biological material. The rate and percentage of indirect transfer appeared to be dependent on agitation, substrate type, biological material and its drying properties. The outcomes of this study may assist those evaluating the likelihood of the evidence given proposed events during activity level assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102457
Number of pages10
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all volunteers who participated in this study, as well as the staff of the Biometric Services Division of the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department for their assistance in the analyses of the DNA samples collected in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biological materials
  • DNA transfer
  • Drying properties
  • Indirect transfer


Dive into the research topics of 'Indirect DNA transfer without contact from dried biological materials on various surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this