Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Fingerprint instead of Blood Sample: Antibody tests on fingerprints to detect drugs and diseases

To this day, fingerprints are just the thing when a perpetrator needs to be arrested or a person needs to be identified. British scientists working with David A. Russell also want to make it possible to use fingerprints to reveal drug and doping transgressions and to diagnose diseases.

As the team from the University of East Anglia in Norwich and King’s College in London report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they have now been able to use specific antibodies to differentiate between the fingerprints of smokers and nonsmokers.

A fingerprint is of no use to an investigator unless it can be matched to one in a database or can be directly compared with that of a suspect. Russell and his team expect that we will soon be able to gain information about the lifestyle of the person who made the fingerprints, which could shrink the pool of suspects. In this way, it should be possible to use fingerprints to detect drugs, medications, or food that have been consumed, and also to diagnose some diseases.

Researchers want to coax all of these secrets out of the tiny traces of perspiration that a fingerprint leaves on a surface. The research team demonstrated the ease with which this should be possible by differentiating between fingerprints made by smokers and nonsmokers. To avoid false results from chance contact with tobacco products, they designed their system to detect cotinine, a metabolite formed by the body after consumption of nicotine. The researchers wet the fingerprints with a solution containing gold nanoparticles to which cotinine-specific antibodies were attached. These bind to the cotinine. Subsequently, a second antibody, which was tagged with a fluorescent dye and binds specifically to cotinine antibodies, was applied to the fingerprint. Because there are many cotinine antibodies attached to each nanosphere, there is a significant amplification effect.

... more about:
»Antibodies »DETECT »cotinine

Indeed, the ridge patterns of smokers’ fingerprints fluoresce, while those of nonsmokers do not. The fingerprints are very highly resolved and can be lifted for comparison with known prints, just as in conventional procedures. When magnified, even the tiny sweat pores along the ridges of the fingertip become visible, which can also be used to make an unambiguous assignment.

In addition to forensic applications, this method would be ideal for detecting doping. Sample manipulations by the test subjects would hardly be possible since each sample is uniquely assignable to a specific athlete by virtue of the ridge pattern. Medical diagnostics could also benefit in the form of simple and quick mass screening with no danger of sample mix-ups. Another application could be drug screening without taking blood samples—from suspicious drivers, for example.

Jennifer Beal | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Antibodies DETECT cotinine

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

3-D-printed structures shrink when heated

26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow

26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>