Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Revolutionary fingerprint powder can reveal criminal’s sex and drug habits

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Michael Whyte
Crime Scene Officer and Fingerprint Expert with over 7 years experience in Crime Scene Investigation and Latent Print Analysis. The opinions or assertions contained on this site are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as those of any professional organisation or policing body.
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A revolutionary powder claims to be able to discover what a person has eaten, what medication they’re on and even their sex, all from a single fingerprint. Developed by the company ARRO SupraNano,  the powder contains nano-particles that stick to the ridges of prints more effectively than current powders  and can pick up chemical and trace elements that reveal details about the criminal’s behaviour.

Specially formulated to develop latent marks on both non porous (e.g. glass, ceramics,) and semi porous surfaces (e.g. plastics, non ferrous metals,) up to twenty-eight days after deposition. The powders provide 30% enhanced performance over existing powders.

The developed fingerprints can also be further analysed for:

  • Identification of endogenous and exogenous metabolites within the structure of fingerprints e.g. prescribed drugs (anti-epileptics, anti-depressives, anti-psychotics, antibiotics etc)
  • Detection and identification of biomarkers that will enable a donor’s gender, age and ethnicity to be established.
  • Skin cell harvesting from latent print deposits which would be able to detect and record DNA profiles.

The benefits of ARRO SupraNano over existing products
The benefits of ARRO SupraNano over existing products (Credit: ARRO SupraNano)

Utilising state-of-the-art Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation (MALDI) technology, with Time-Of-Flight analysis, the ARRO MALDI MS provides a quick and simple technique for the analysis of developed latent fingerprints. By matching the spectra to ARRO’s developed library it is possible to identify a wide range of chemicals unambiguously in the form of contact residues including drugs and explosives and the metabolites of a range of common drugs including the major drugs of abuse. 

In addition through the identification of specific biomarkers it will be possible to gain further information on the donors gender, age and ethnicity.


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