DNA identification of sperm cells collected and sorted by flow cytometry

Nunzio Di Nunno, Mauro Melato, Antonella Vimercati, Cosimo Di Nunno, Fulvio Costantinides, Carla Vecchiotti, Cristina Frezzini, Steven Cina, Francesco Vimercati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In cases of rape, obtaining enough biologic material for DNA identification of the attacker is often difficult because the methods for distinguishing and separating sperm cells from vaginal cells are not sufficiently efficacious. This article describes a new, innovative method for spermatic DNA extraction from the vaginal washing fluid by means of flow cytometry. The high specificity and sensitivity of the flow-cytometric sorting method provides enough sperm cells for DNA typing. The ease of execution of this method, involving vaginal washing with physiologic solution and flow-cytometric reading of the fresh sample, substantially increases its cost-benefit ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-270
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2003


  • DNA typing
  • Flow-cytometry
  • Rape investigation
  • STR systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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