Fingerprinting: Into the future

Sue M. Jickells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Although fingerprints have been used in forensic science for over 100 years, development of new visualisation techniques to obtain images of latent fingermarks for identification purposes is continuing. The use of nanoparticles, including functionalised nanoparticles is being explored as is the use of spectroscopic techniques such as Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy. These techniques, and mass spectrometric techniques such as DESI-MS and DART-TOF-MS, can be used to detect traces of drugs and explosives on latent fingermarks; offering the possibility of providing 'intelligence' information about the leaver of a print Nanoparticles functionalised with antibodies have been used to differentiate prints from smokers and non-smokers. Investigation of the chemistry of latent fingermarks has shown important differences between adults and children which have already been used in forensic casework. As advances are made in instrumentation, we can expect to see further advances not only in visualisation of latent prints but also in additional 'lifestyle' information which can be gleaned about individuals from their prints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalMeasurement and Control
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

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