Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fingerprints Tell All

29.03.2012
Progress in fingerprint analysis

It has long been well established that fingerprints can be used to identify people or help convict them of crimes. Things have gone a lot further now: fingerprints can be used to show that a suspect is a smoker, takes drugs, or has handled explosives, among other things. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Pompi Hazarika and David Russell describe the noteworthy progress that has recently been made.


When a finger touches a surface, sweat and oil-containing substances like sebum leave behind a print that is invisible to the naked eye. There are several ways to make it visible, like dusting with powder or spraying with reagents or “superglue”. A new technique that improves sensitivity involves the deposition of gold nanoparticles attached to cage-like molecules filled with dyes or other luminescent makers that cause the fingerprint pattern to glow. Gold nanoparticles attached to antibodies against amino acids are better at revealing older, dried fingerprints.

If a person has taken drugs, traces are released in his or her sweat. A team working with Russell at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK) has recently developed a method by which magnetic particles are equipped with antibodies that bind specifically to certain drug or nicotine metabolites.

In a second step, they apply a fluorescent antibody, which binds to the first antibody and indicates the presence of the corresponding drug by glowing under a fluorescence microscope. By using this method, the researchers were able to simultaneously detect several different narcotics in a single fingerprint.

Other innovative approaches use chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques to identify the components of sweat and their decomposition products in fingerprints. One exciting development is the use of desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI). Charged droplets of solvent are sprayed onto the surface, forming a film that dissolves materials out of the fingerprint.

Additional solvent droplets impact the film and release the dissolved analytes from the surface so that they can be analyzed by mass spectrometry. An image of the fingerprint is then computed. Traces of drugs and explosives can also be shown.

Another interesting technique is infrared spectroscopy, which has been used to separate overlapping fingerprints from two individuals by means of their different sebum contents to produce two separate images. It is also possible to detect traces of explosive. Raman spectroscopy can be used to identify pharmaceuticals like aspirin and paracetamol (acetaminophen), as well as caffeine and starch in fingerprints.

The goal is to develop a cost-effective, rapid, portable, miniature system that can detect fingerprints and the chemical components in them. This would not only be useful for criminologists, but also for doping tests and diagnostics.

About the Author
David Russell is Professor of Chemistry at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. His research is currently focused on the synthesis and functionalisation of nanoparticles. These functionalised particles are used for the development of in vitro diagnostics, intracellular measurement of target analytes and for the delivery of photosensitisers for photodynamic cancer therapy.
Author: David Russell, University of East Anglia, Norwich (Großbritannien), http://www.uea.ac.uk/che/dar
Title: Advances in Fingerprint Analysis
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201104313

David Russell | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://www.uea.ac.uk/che/dar
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>