Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fluorescent Grooves

12.12.2008
Fingerprints from the scene of the crime will soon reveal drug abuse

In order to arrest a culprit, police look for fingerprints at the scene of the crime.

Magnetic powder is applied to the surfaces of objects with a magnetic brush to make these latent fingerprints visible. It may now be possible to use latent fingerprints to detect the use of drugs as well.

As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, forensic scientists would not even have to change the magnetic brush technique they have used since the 1960s: British scientists at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and King’s College in London have developed a process based on magnetic particles and antibodies that causes fingerprints to fluoresce if they were made by a drug user.

Components of drug metabolites can be detected in sweat. “This also works for the tiny amounts of sweat left behind in the characteristic pattern of grooves and ridges of fingerprints left on the objects that were touched,” explains David A. Russell. To do this, Russell and his team used specially coated magnetic particles with antibodies attached. The antibodies bind specifically to drug components or metabolites. Fingerprints of volunteer test subjects from drug clinics were dusted with this magnetic powder. The prints were then treated with a solution containing an antibody bound to a fluorescing dye. This second antibody binds to the first. If the fingerprint was made by a drug user, it turned yellowish brown. Under visible light, these fingerprints glowed green or red, depending on the fluorescent dye used.

By using the corresponding specific antibodies, the scientists were able to detect THC (the main active component of marijuana), benzoylecgonine (the primary metabolite of cocaine), and methadone and the primary metabolite of methadone in the fingerprints of test subjects. Variation of the antibodies makes it possible to develop detection procedures for other substances of interest.

The characteristic pattern of the fingerprint is maintained. The fingerprints are highly resolved and can be lifted for comparison with known fingerprints, just as in the standard procedure. At higher magnification it is even possible to see the tiny sweat pores along the ridges of the fingertip, which can also be used for unambiguous identification.

“The advantage of this method is that potentially only simple, portable equipment is needed, which can be brought along for a crime scene investigation with no problem,” says Russell. “The magnetic particles make it possible to remove excess reagent with the usual magnetic brush, no complex washing procedures would be needed.”

Author: David A. Russell, University of East Anglia, Norwich (UK), http://www1.uea.ac.uk/cap/people/faculty/dar/

Title: Imaging of Latent Fingerprints through the Detection of Drugs and Metabolites

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2008, 47, No. 52, 10167–10170, doi: 10.1002/anie.200804348

David A. Russell | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www1.uea.ac.uk/cap/people/faculty/dar/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ambush in a petri dish
24.11.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>