Using gold nanoparticles to recover old fingerprints

Fingerprinting is one of the essential techniques of modern-day forensic science. Be that as it may, only a fraction of fingerprints can actually be detected using traditional powdering and cyanoacrylate fuming. But now, using gold nanoparticles, even year-old evidence can be dusted for prints.

The technique that was presented in Chemical Communications enables crime scene investigators to recover aged, dry and weak fingerprints from old cases. But more remarkably, the technique might be the way to dust for prints on human skin.

The novel immunogenic method to detect latent fingerprints, works with a reagent that links gold nanoparticles to amino acid-binding antibodies, with the nanoparticles giving sharper detail in developed fingerprints than current methods.

The next step in the development of the new technique can hardly be called a surprising one: finding a cost-effective manner for using gold to track down criminals.

© Jorn van Dooren |

Want to comment on this article? Please use the BOS discussion group!

Comments are closed.