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Sci Justice. 2007 Nov;47(3):136-40.

Fingerprint recovery from human skin surfaces.

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  • 1Forensic Laboratory and Research Centre, Police, Ministry of the Interior, Stefanova 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


A study was conducted to investigate whether certain dactyloscopic powders and reagents can recover latent fingerprints on human skin surfaces. Four fingerprint powders, Magnetic Jet Black, Magnetic Silver, Silver Special, Swedish Black, and two other methods, cyanoacrylate fuming (CA) and Ruthenium tetroxide (RTX), were used. Having examined skin surfaces with a forensic light source, we observed that the fingerprint impressions remained visible up to 15 min after intentionally placing them on the skin surface of living subjects and dead bodies. Finger marks were recovered and positive results were achieved with Magnetic Black and Swedish Black powder on living subjects. On dead bodies finger marks treated with cyanoacrylate were visible but those treated with RTX, Swedish Black and Magnetic Jet Black powder were useful for potential comparison. On dead bodies best results were obtained with RTX method.

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