No major website updates this week
No announcements either
we looked at some new SWGFAST documents recently posted to the SWGFAST website.
we look at a new chemical development technique out of China, recently featured in Forensic magazine.
Shining a light on fingerprint detection
05 April 2012
Scientists in China have discovered a method for visualising latent fingerprints found at the scene of a crime, which they say is very simple, rapid, does not require professional forensic treatment and does not destroy the print.
The fingerprints were enhanced by aggregation induced emission of tetraphenylethene
The group stumbled on the result by accident. 'We were trying to enhance the visualisation of latent fingerprints by electrochemiluminescence,' says Su, 'and we found that the chemical procedure of aggregation induced emission was one of the methods for adsorbing TPE onto fingerprint ridges.'
Steven Bell, an expert in forensic research at Queen's University in Belfast, UK, is circumspect in his assessment of the protocol. 'The advantages over existing methods still need to be demonstrated,' he says. 'A side-by-side comparison against the standard superglue fuming method would be useful to establish the sensitivity.' This is a method in which superglue reacts with amino acids, fatty acids and proteins in latent fingerprints and moisture in the air to produce a white material along the ridges of the fingerprint, resulting in an image of the fingerprint.
He adds that getting the fingerprints into the dye solution at the scene of a crime may not be easy. 'There may be practical difficulties in applying this method where the object bearing the marks is large - a car for example.'
Although Su thinks that an AIE protocol is promising for future forensic applications, he does recognise some of its limitations. However, he thinks the protocol could at least have educational value. If appropriate compounds can be found with 'solubility in alcohol and emission in the visible range, the protocol might be suitable as a chemistry or forensic experiment for school students,' he says.
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