Florida International University (FIU) is seeking a business partner to develop and commercialize Molecular Tools for Vaginal Epithelial Cells Detection. The test kit successfully discriminates the presence of vaginal epithelia in extracted samples using nanogram amounts of genomic DNA.
In forensic cases, discriminating vaginal secretions from other body fluids can help determine the events that occur at crime scenes. Material and methods that provide accurate and easy detection of vaginal secretions would support or refute an allegation of sexual contact. Current techniques used for detecting vaginal epithelial cells in forensic samples are time consuming and the results presumptive. Some of them rely on successful histological staining of the glycogen-rich vaginal cells; however, they are prone to false results, and the cells undergoing histological analysis may no longer be viable for use in other tests such as DNA extraction and analysis. Other techniques may utilize certain RNAs as products of cell-specific gene expression; unfortunately, these rely on normalized levels of mRNA transcripts in comparison with total RNA extracted, and thus may provide inaccurate results.
FIU inventors have developed methods and kits for detecting the presence of vaginal epithelial cells in a sample, for example a forensics sample. The kit comprises a reverse and forward primer, and optionally a sequence primer. The methods include isolating the genetic material from the cell; treating the genetic material with bisulfite; conducting a PCR using the bisulfite treated genetic material as a template and a primer pair designed to amplify the targeted locus; and analyzing the PCR amplicons produced by pyrosequencing using a sequencing primer designed to sequence the amplicons.
- Identification of presence of vaginal epithelial cells in forensics samples
- Provides an automatable, non-destructive, and reliable test for detecting vaginal epithelial cells from collected samples
- Easily implementable in a forensic laboratory
- Saves time on analysis
- Reduces the instance of false negatives
- Minimizes destruction of key evidence