Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Method for Recovering Difficult Fingerprints


by blogger ic


It's already difficult to obtain good fingerprints at a crime scene. In most cases, mostly partials will be found. In cases where there was some type of explosion or fire, other methods like this chemical method could be very helpful not just in recovering the print but also to find out some information on who the suspect could be.

"The body chemistry of the person who left the fingerprint can tell us some things," said Shaler. "If the suspect is older or younger or a lactating mother, for example."

The researchers used a form of physical vapor deposition -- a method that uses a vacuum and allows vaporized materials to condense on a surface creating a thin film. Normally, the deposition process requires exceptionally clean surfaces because any speck of dust or grease on the coated surface shows up as a deformity. However, with fingerprints, the point is to have the surface material's ridges and valleys -- topography -- show up on the new surface so analysts can read them using an optical device without the necessity of chemical development or microscopy.

"This approach allows us to look at the topography better and to look at the chemistry later," said Shaler. "We wouldn't have thought of this by ourselves, but we could do it together."

One benefit of this approach would be the ability to retrieve fingerprints off fragments from incendiary or explosive devices and still be able to analyze the chemicals used in the device.

The specific method used is a conformal-evaporated-film-by-rotation technique developed to create highly accurate copies of biological templates such as insect eyes or butterfly wings. Both are surfaces that have nanoscale variations.

"It is a very simple process," said Lakhtakia. "And fingerprints are not nanoscale objects, so the conformal coating is applied to something big by nanotechnology standards."

22 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you

Anonymous said...

This is an ingenius and better way for matching prints and profiling that what we have now. It is going to change the way we catch criminals dramatically, in my opinion.

JG

Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting article. If they can sucessfully make a portable device for this, more fingerprints could be taken at crime-scenes. For instance, latent fingerprints on large objects that cannot be taken back to a lab and are not made visible by other techniques like fuming and dusting.

JAM

Anonymous said...

Using something at the nano scale to test for something at a larger scale seems like a very precise way to test for fingerprints.

TCP

Anonymous said...

I agree, as well. This method is definitely useful and glad it is proving helpful, and that the method was discovered.

-STC

IT-Forensik said...

ok, this actually is pretty amazing. good news I'd say!

best wishes
2Bsafe

pixymagic said...

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Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere effort it’s done.

John said...

very interesting and informative post

John said...

It is going to change the way we catch criminals dramatically,I think.

Forensic Computer said...

Very interesting article!

sifs india said...

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sneha said...

thanx for telling.....

sifsindia said...

it is very useful information...

Strong said...

SIFS INDIA provides forensic science training courses and education by online/distance mode with real court cases practice which include analysis of handwriting, fingerprint science, forensic biology, DNA Fingerprinting, Cyber Forensics, ethical hacking, Forensic Graphology,Forensic Psychology. All of the works and steps followed by us are too much effective and helpful to solve the cases related to fingerprints and other prints.

Eric said...

I found this really interested, I just started blogging about forensic science for my English class. I was inspired by the show Dexter and now I feel astonished by how many different types of forensic sciences there are. Prior to my recent studies, I had thought blood splatter analysts was the only type of forensic science. Is fingerprinting a required learning to become a forensic scientist? How long does it take to determine a match on fingerprints with either the original method and this new method?

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Harald said...

old tricks do work. fingerprints are still har to beat when it comes to forensic evidence.