Dissolvable Nanofibers for High Efficiency Capture and Extraction of DNA for Forensic Analysis

Period of Performance: 09/17/2015 - 03/18/2016


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Luna Innovations, Inc.
301 1st St Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

National Forensic Science Technology Center
Largo, FL 33777
Institution POC


Swabs are routinely used by crime scene investigators and forensic scientists for the collection of a wide range of evidence types for later analysis. The swab device most commonly used is the sterile cotton swab due to its ease of use, low cost, and ability to collect a wide variety of biological materials on multiple substrates. However, standard cotton swabs are known for their low efficiency of sample (DNA) release. Therefore, a new swab fiber material, production method, or device is needed to provide high initial binding and enhanced release of all the adsorbed material for forensic analysis. To meet this need, Luna Innovations proposes to develop unique electrospun nanofiber swabs that can undergo controllable dissolution for complete specimen recovery. During the Phase I program, Luna will work with our partners at the National Forensic Science Technology Center to demonstrate cellular uptake of greater than 95% efficiency, a controllable release of greater than 80% cellular material, and compatibility with initial DNA analysis (e.g. DNA extraction and quantification techniques).