Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Field of Study

Biomedical Sciences


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Joseph E. Warren


Sexual assault kits make up 40-50% of a typical Forensic Laboratory caseload. The traditional method to process these samples is time-consuming and requires the use of hazardous chemicals such as Phenol:Chloroform:Isoamyl Alcohol (PCIA). This study compares another manual differential extraction method and two automated methods to the traditional standard differential extraction. Results indicate that as sperm sample concentration decreases, automated methods produce superior results both in DNA quantity obtained and in quality of STR profiles produced. Automated methods reduce hands-on time, facilitate higher through-put of samples, and reduce analyst contact with hazardous chemicals such as PCIA, making it an excellent choice for labs.


Brignac, Francine. Comparison of Four Differential DNA Extraction Methods for Casework Analysis of Sexual Assault Kit Swabs. Master of Science (Biomedical Sciences, Forensic Genetics). May 2016. 50 pp, 11 Tables, 13 Figures, 36 References.