If there is one word that can be applied to us it is, undoubtedly, interdisciplinarity. The wealth of knowledge and skills of the members that make up CINQUIFOR means that not only has the group been able to position itself as a nationally and internationally recognised reference point, but also that it enables a continuous flow of new ideas and fronts to be explored.“It is our interdisciplinary and translational character that defines us”.The group is currently working on numerous and varied lines of research, as well as exploring others throughout our research stage. Social needs and resources change; therefore, we are a dynamic and versatile group.
Due to our previous experience and current collaborations, we also contribute with electrophoretic and chromatographic techniques (HPLC, ion chromatography, high performance thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography) for the analysis of explosives and other samples of criminalistic interest (explosive residues, fire residues, toxics, drugs and documents), and with atomic and molecular mass spectrometry approaches for the analysis of toxics and explosives.
Microscopy and imaging
Microscopy and imaging techniques for the investigation of samples of chemical, medical and forensic interest (biophotonic emission, explosives, GSR, biological fluids, bones, immobilization of enzymes and metals in polymeric matrices).
Vibrational spectroscopy approaches (Raman spectroscopy, Surface Enhanced Raman (SERS), using metal nanoparticle colloids, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) for the investigation of explosive residues (including gunshot residues, GSR) and precursors to explosives, biological fluids, toxins, documents and inks, bones, heavy metal contamination of sediments and soils, immobilisation of enzymes and metals in polymeric matrices and pharmaceuticals.
Multivariate analysis strategies, data mining and artificial intelligence for the identification of substances and objects, as well as the interpretation of various types of data of chemical and forensic interest.
Scientific tools to address them
CINQUIFOR is essentially made up of investigators from different disciplines and with extensive experience in chemical, forensic, biological, pharmaceutical and food technology sciences, and with collaborators from various forensic institutions, such as the Guardia Civil's Criminalistics Service, the Scientific Police Headquarters and the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences. It also has agreements with the Canary Islands Institute of Criminological Analysis (ICAC); the law firm Prada & Rey Penal; the Italian Studio Indagini Mediche E Forensi (SIMEF); the Escola Superior Agrária de Elvas (ECAC) of the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and the Centre for Animal Knowledge (CPCA), both of which are Portuguese; and has the support of various private companies that are committed to the forensic area and support its research and training activities, highlighting the contribution of Thermo Fisher Scientific, with which it also has a sponsorship agreement and which has promotedeconomically the realization of various events.
Our purpose is to supply with knowledge to the Chemical and Forensic Sciences, investigating scientific solutions to problems in chemistry and criminalistics. We investigate from new, risky and promising approaches, seeking to solve real problems in these areas of knowledge.
The role of drugsEpidemiological and sociological study of drug-facilitated sexual assaults (DFSA) in youth and nightlife leisure. Awareness of young people about these crimes for the prevention of sexual violence in view of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development..
Psychoactive substances (licit and illicit use)Screening and study of toxic substances in biological samples to determine if they are involved in crimes, for example, drug-facilitated sexual assaults (DFSA)Drugs of abuseNew methods of detection of drugs in body fluids, stashes and plants. Detection of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).
Persistent painUse of ultra-weak biophotonic emission as an objective analytical measure for monitoring patients with persistent pain.DepressionNew methods of detection of depressive states through ultra-weak photon emission (UPE).
Document studyChemical composition of inks to study the crossing of overlapping lines. Dating of documents to estimate the date of writing.Gunshot residues and explosivesEstimation of the shooting distance by X-ray diffraction and multivariate analysis. Trace detection of explosive residues by Raman spectroscopy. Adhesion of explosive residue to finger, clothing and luggage.And those to come…
✓ We study samples of chemical and forensic interest using vibrational
spectroscopy (Raman and IR) and hyperspectral imaging
✓ We interpret data of chemical and forensic interest through
✓ We analyze samples of chemical and forensic interest using
electrophoretic, chromatographic and spectrometric techniques
HUMAN PHOTON EMISSION
DefinitionThe emission of human biophotons or UPE (ultra-weak photon emission) is visually undetectable because it is 3-6 orders of magnitude below the visual limit of the human eye for those photon levels.Interest of the studyThe use of CCD devices or photomultipliers has shown how the intensity of the UPE changes depending on the disease, meditation or imagination. However, it has not been explored with other personal states of medical and forensic interest, such as primary negative emotions (anger, fear and sadness), precursors of crime and pathological states such as depression or anxiety, among others.
“Our group philosophy is based on promoting and encouraging the personal changes needed to approach chemical and forensic problems with a new mind, without prejudice or conditioning, in order to be able to change the paradigms of the subjects under study. This requires us to adapt ourselves to working in groups in multicultural and interdisciplinary teams, to a system of transversal communication in order to assume responsibilities, to go out of the comfort zone of what we know in order to learn what we need, and to fly with our imagination towards that better world we want.While it is true that in the course of life we all tend to get sick, throughout our lives we must all live with our own goodness and meanness, as well as those of others. When human pettiness leads us to extreme situations we can commit crimes, and there, in that context, it is necessary to promote a culture of forensic intelligence that allows us not only to provide the information required by the courts, but also to have tools that allow us to improve security in a more proactive way.This is not easy. However, it is possible to develop a capacity for observation and integration of knowledge that allows each of us to contribute to that small change that we want to see in the world.By acting. By willing”.
The RISEN ProjectReal-tIme on-site forenSic tracE qualificatioN (RISEN) is a European project in which more than 20 prestigious institutions are collaborating, whose objective is the development of contactless sensors suitable for real-time trace analysis that allows the detection, visualisation, identification and interpretation of the remains in situ.Interest of the studyThe use of this technology will bring a significant reduction in the time and resources spent in the laboratory, and will also allow for much faster and more effective exchanges of information.
Food industryEnzyme-support interactions and enzymatic activity according to pH and temperature. Study of the enzyme beta-galactosidase in porous meso-macro silica by means of Raman spectroscopySexual assaultMaximizing semen collection from pads through chemical and shredding treatments. Multi-target methodology for screening blood samples in drug-facilitated sex crimes (DFSA).