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Proceedings Paper

Fluorescence Detection In Electrophoresis
Author(s): Susan Swarner
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Paper Abstract

Fluorescence detection is in common usage in forensic science laboratories for the visualization of three enzyme markers. The fluorogenic substrates, 4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate, 4-methylutbel-liveryl acetate, and fluorecein diacetate, are acted upon by the enzymes Erythrocyte Acid Phospha, tase, Esterase-D, and Carbonic Anhydrase-III, respectively, to produce compounds visible to the analyst when viewed with transmitted UV light at 365 nm. Additionally, the choice of fluorogenic corn, pounds may help detect a specific enzyme from a related enzyme. One of the responsibilities of a forensic science laboratory may be the analysis of blood for genetically controlled polymorphic enzymes and protein markers. The genetic markers are said to be polymorphic because each exhibits types which can be differentiated and allows for the inclusion or exclusion of possible-donors of the blood. Each genetic marker can be separated into these recognizable types by electrophoresis, a technique which separates compounds based on electrical charges. Electrophoresis is conducted by placing a portion or extract of each bloodstain into a support medium which will conduct electricity. This is known as a plate or membrane. By controlling the pH of the buffer and the potential that is applied to the plate, the analyst can achieve separation of the types within an enzyme marker. The types appear as differing patterns of bands. Once the bloodstain has been subjected to electrophoresis, the enzymes must be visualized. This is generally best accomplished by using the specific activity of the enzyme. For the enzymes described in the present work, the visualization is performed by over-layering the plate with a piece of filter paper that 'has been saturated with the appropriate non-fluorescent substrate and buffer. The bands of enzyme, which is now in discrete patterns, will act upon the non-fluorescent substrate to create a fluorescent compound. The plate is then viewed with transmitted UV light at 365 nm to locate the band patterns which will identify the phenotype of the blood source. The plate should be photographed to record the findings.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 1988
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 0910, Fluorescence Detection II, (27 April 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.945436
Show Author Affiliations
Susan Swarner, Criminalistics Laboratory (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0910:
Fluorescence Detection II
E. Roland Menzel, Editor(s)

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